Saturday, April 22, 2006

native's plant safari

the trees filled with perfect new leaves, free of the later summer scars inflicted by sun and insects. the tree flowering blocked the satellite again. tv is a winter comfort only, and as it turns out, its a good thing. because i dont have any business wasting precious outdoor time or evenings that could be filled with good meals, friends, books, and art........watching tv. but enough broke through to allow me the heads up on the tornado watch. V called to say be sure and go into the crawlspace under the cabin should i hear the freightrain of wind. but it was only a storm, remarkable in that there was so much lightning -one after another flickering the sky like an old 8mm movie. the next day was perfect and fresh, sparkling with raindrops balanced on the tips of slim branches.

on my walk i spotted ladyslippers pink and tender like a human heart. carpets of creeping phlox. tiny bird's foot yellow violets. sweet shrub. bloodroot. chickweed. solomon's seal. wild ginger. tiny native southern blue flag iris. lily of the valley. and great stands of trillium. Here are some of the beauties i encountered on my own little patch of paradise:

white trillium. a frequently poached plant, only to die at the new location. it takes 7 years for a trillium to mature to the blooming stage you see above

the southern blue flag. a tiny native iris with spearlike leaves

lady slipper. you find it where dead trees have decayed to a soft loam on the forest floor

little white stars. dont know what these are

the one red trillium on the entire place

lily of the valley

a fiddle head fern

dovey in the creeping phlox

the new puppy. "Trout". a little brown hound of the mountains

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Monday, April 10, 2006

in praise of poultry

they are like dinosaurs, they way they run, big legs pumping and covering ground quickly. they can fly but often choose not to. When they do, its an interesting flight. If they were jets they could land on aircraft carriers...they make extreme sharp turns and short landings. the little wings blurred like fast moving insect wings and the tail feathers fan out like a quail. they are master earth movers, scratching up grubs and larvae, picking them up and dashing them down to the earth to bleed out the soft insides. their eyesight is enviable and when they turn that one eye upon you for inspection it is the stuff of horror films. Its no mystery to me that birds are the descendants of dinos. Their vocabulary is very specific with soft trills and sharp reports, and they can be so so sweet - when you have peanut butter to share or some sweet cake-like cornbread. they are a social creature in may ways, hanging around wherever the people are and inquisitive of the goings on around the place. Yes, this is another love letter to chickens and probably not the last.