Labor daze

It’s not that I don’t like the cabin, or my house. I appreciate having solid, wood-lined walls, and a deck where the only view is trees, hillsides and valleys. They’re both at 2,000 feet elevation, so I have a wealth of Southern Appalachian flora and fauna to observe.  What I mind is that owning property … read more Labor daze

Lop lop loppers

On the drive in Friday, Tom flinched every time a branch scraped against Xena on Booger Hollow’s narrow and rhododendron-infested roads. So today, I got out the loppers to trim them back. It was a three-hour chore. But the destructive beast inside me was growling with delight to be off the leash. Loppers were unfamiliar to … read more Lop lop loppers

What the drought hath wrought

The first summer after I transplanted a black cohosh to the hillside above the cabin, I was so worried about its need for shade that I suspended a baby blanket over it with bungee cords. Then halfway through the summer I realized that I was also keeping some of the rain from reaching the plant, … read more What the drought hath wrought

From Montaluce to Booger Hollow

Since we have the X3, we can drive straight from our condo in the city all the way to Booger Hollow in the middle of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The ease of making this dramatic transition in less than two hours makes it especially fun. We decided to do that for Labor Day weekend, but … read more From Montaluce to Booger Hollow

None can compare

When I see bright, fluorescent pink in the forest, it’s usually leftover trail blaze tape or an empty Energy Gel packet. I was huffing along the trail, trying to finish my eight-plus miles in three and half hours. Looked like I’d make it. I didn’t. Because of the pink. No, it wasn’t FIRE PINK. It was … read more None can compare

The one-legged grasshopper

When we’re at the cabin, we sit around for hours, reading or just looking at nature. Booger Hollow is that kind of place. Sitting still, outside, gives me the chance to observe lots of insects. So I saw this guy. He was moving along the railing and I got closer to watch. Then I noticed he was … read more The one-legged grasshopper

Between heaven and hell

Their branches curve thick and muscled as the arms of thugs on the waterfront. Their leaves sprout glossy and tough, built to survive temperatures 20 degrees below zero. Their roots defy attacks, continuing to grow even when everything else on the tree has been chopped off. This plant is not just a survivor, but a warrior. The pollen is violent: … read more Between heaven and hell

Big brown jug

My sisters and I long ago stopped buying each other gifts for birthdays and Christmas. I think we all hate the process of shopping for presents because, when you live far apart, it’s a guessing game with too many wrong answers. There’s one gift that my sisters will accept any time of the year, though. It’s always … read more Big brown jug

Great expectations

The Jake and Bull Mountain Trail System of the Chattahoochee National Forest weaves all around Booger Hollow, so Tom and I know the trails well. When you hike a trail year after year, in all seasons, you know exactly where you’ll see certain plants. On the Lance Creek Trail, I know there will be stonecrop at a certain … read more Great expectations