Thursday, April 30, 2009
wondering where my life is leading,
rolling on, to the bitter end.
Finding out along the way
what it takes to keep love living.
You should know, how it feels my friend...
Now I'm on my feet again.
Better things are bound to happen.
All my dues, surely must be paid.
from Ready for Love (click to listen)
by Paul Rodgers
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This post continues a brief series I am calling Stoned, dedicated to my love of stone and fascination with stone work.
This is one of many photos I have taken of brooks through the seasons. As a writer, I look forward to having a small country cottage beside a brook where I can write to my heart’s content.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This post continues a brief series I am calling Stoned, dedicated to my love of stone and fascination with stone work. I thought maybe I was borderline obsessed with stone, but the great American poet Robinson Jeffers gives new meaning to the word "obsession." He built Tor House and later, Hawk Tower with his own hands.
"In 1914, when they first saw the unspoiled beauty of the Carmel-Big Sur coast south of California's Monterey Peninsula, Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) and his wife, Una (1884-1950), knew they had found their "inevitable place." Over the next decade, on a windswept, barren promontory, using granite boulders gathered from the rocky shore of Carmel Bay, Jeffers built Tor House and Hawk Tower as a home and refuge for himself and his family. It was in Tor House that Jeffers wrote all of his major poetical works."
~photo and text courtesy of Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"And where the shadows deepest fell,
the wood thrush rang his silver bell."
~ John Greenleaf Whittier
I saw a Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelin) in a thicket near my study the other day, and hearing its song heartened me. Whittier was inspired by the wood thrush and the abundant natural beauty that surrounded his rural homestead in Haverhill, MA.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Photos courtesy of UMass Extension Services
Saturday, April 18, 2009
April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.
Author of Beyond Your Doorstep: A Handbook to the Country
Hal Borland wrote what he liked to think of as his "outdoor editorials" for the Sunday New York Times from 1941 until just before his death in 1978. Born on May 14, 1900, on the prairie in Nebraska, he grew up in Colorado, and then moved to New England in 1945. Borland brought to his writing both personal life experience with nature and the wisdom and ways of rural America.
Friday, April 17, 2009
From summer 2008
Approaching his 18th birthday on May 6th and still blessed with a long and totally intact memory, Rock enjoys his catmint every summer and can hardly wait for this season’s lush growth to begin.
I love this perennial, named 2007 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. It has the aromatic foliage that Rock loves and sends up a profusion of lavender-blue flowers that bees and butterflies adore.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
This little flower with the smiling face was said to be a love potion, and was the cause of Titania falling in love with an ass in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. It has also been called Herb Trinity, because there are often three colors in the one flower, reminding us of the Holy Trinity.
Perhaps the best known of the names, however, is Heartsease, for it was believed that carrying the flower about with you would ensure the love of your sweetheart.
~ The Language of Flowers
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I first learned about trout by reading Trout Reflections: A Natural History of the Trout and Its World by David M. Carroll, a friend, author, artist and naturalist. David has dedicated his life to studying turtles and in 2006 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Wild trout are in trouble and the following excerpt, from a December 2005 report titled Conserving the Eastern Brook Trout: An Overview of Status, Threats, and Trends by the Conservation Strategy Work Group, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, explains why: "The brook trout is a recreationally and culturally important species, regional icon, and indicator of high water quality. Biologists have long known that brook trout populations are declining across their historic eastern range from Maine to Georgia. Wild brook trout populations in the eastern United States declined substantially during the past century and continue to face threats. Impacts from agriculture, grazing, loss of riparian forests, urbanization, and competition with invasive species, global climate change, acid precipitation, and other anthropogenic alterations to the landscape are decreasing the presence and robustness of brook trout populations across their historic range."
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Jeepers Creepers, I almost forgot about the peepers! But two nights ago, while driving past a wetland area, I heard them calling, and what a thrill it was. For me, their evening symphonies are a quintessential springtime event and a performance that is not to be missed. We've had heavy rain in the last 24 hours, so they must be in peeper heaven.
These tiny frogs are found in marshy woods and non-wooded lowlands near freshwater ponds and swamps. They rely heavily on vernal pools, which are fast disappearing due to development, timing their breeding season to make use of these pools, which usually dry up after the tadpoles have transformed into adult frogs and left the water. Although they are good climbers, spring peepers seem to prefer to be on the ground or hiding in leaf litter.
Never mind dinner and a movie ― my idea of a fantastic Saturday night in early April is a walk beside the wetlands when the peepers are in full chorus. To listen, click here:
Spring Peeper (RealAudio sound sample)
Photographs by: Suzanne L. Collins, Center for North American Herpetology
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I really thought the end had come.
But after two days in ICU mode, including “crafting” temporary diapers from disposable Pampers, he recovered some use of his legs and full use of his bladder! Amazingly, but true to his nature, he insisted on dragging himself outside both days, with me following closely behind while he sat in the sun and listened to birdsong. The most potent prescription for “the Man of the Forest” is and always has been NATURE. He definitely takes after his mom.
Rock had developed very high blood pressure, which can cause lameness, and often develops as chronic renal failure (CRF) progresses. He’s been on BP meds since then and I’m happy to report that his pressure has come down and he has recovered 90% of the strength in his legs with more improvement to come, I hope. Our wonderful vet says he has "a very strong life force and lots of fire in his eyes." Yep, that's Rock all right.
This week marks the anniversary of his namesake's birth, Sergei Rachmaninoff, born April 1, 1873 (click on the link to sample some of his music). Yesterday, Rock greeted Mr. Groundhog (they’re old friends) making his first appearance of the season, then ran to his favorite tree (an Elm) and scratched with vigor.
The Rocket Man is ready for take-off once again.