A spooky hike

Yet another day of sunshine and 80+ degrees. I put aside the work I couldn’t finish, and went to do the toughest hike in the community. Fall colors relaxed my eyes as the dry leaves crackled under my feet. But something was strange… The forest was silent. Completely silent. I puzzled over it, then realized that … read more A spooky hike

Drunken bees

One of the reasons I grow passionflower is to serve as a bartender to bees. They love the rich nectar of this showy blossom so much that they get drunk on it. The first sign is when the bee simply sits on the barstool without moving. Next, they get disoriented and can’t seem to navigate the bar, … read more Drunken bees

The most lush spring ever

Self-centered creature that I am, I’ve been feeling as though this spring was designed and built JUST FOR ME. With a long winter of struggling through recovery from brain surgery, I felt shrunken and afraid. Then the flowers bloomed. And bloomed. And kept blooming. It has been a spring of tremendous abundance. I hoped to see one … read more The most lush spring ever

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

The urban naturalist

Chi-i-i-i-rp! About a month ago, I was walking through Dunwoody at the perimeter of Atlanta, and over the din of cars and the MARTA train I heard a lone cricket. Chi-i-i-i-rp! In the middle of an April day, I really didn’t expect to hear a cricket within view of the gigantic King and Queen office buildings. I was passing a field, … read more The urban naturalist

A walk on the wild side

Toland Way is a very steep, winding road.  It’s a tough walk up. This time of year, though, it’s worth the strain on my legs and back. The flowering plants are bountiful all along the steep banks of this road. Perhaps the soil is richer, gathering all the minerals that get washed down the mountainside. … read more A walk on the wild side