Lemon joy

This butterfly is not rare in Georgia, but I don’t remember ever seeing it before. Seems odd, given that its color is such a bright lemon yellow. This summer was the first time I’d noticed it flitting around. I never got a good look at it because I was always rushing somewhere. Today Tom and I finally … read more Lemon joy

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

The oak, falling – Part 2

I could hear the chainsaws across the valley a little after 8 a.m., and I knew it was at my house. I sat on Sara’s deck, looking out into the obliterating mist, and cried. She came out and sat with me. We talked and drank coffee. Finally, I got dressed and drove to my house, where a 10-ton oak … read more The oak, falling – Part 2

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

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

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