On the Flyway

We’re lucky enough to live on the Central Flyway, a bird and insect migration route from the northern Great Plains in Canada down to the Gulf and into central Mexico. The continent is home to so many traveling species. In the spring, the flyway brings birds and butterflies north to their breeding grounds; in the […]

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The New Dawn, Beta, and a Deep Breath

This rose bush doesn’t look like much–only a flurry of unremarkable green leaves. But just two weeks ago, it was a mass of leafless brown sticks. This was a first, for over the 25 years of its life, this resilient New Dawn had never lost its green leaves until after December’s killing frosts. But August’s […]

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A Curious Herbal

I’ve always loved old herbals–illustrated books that describe plants and their uses. I especially  enjoy browsing through my collection of reprints, noticing how our understandings of plants have changed over the centuries. Take the dandelion, for instance. Every  year, Americans dump over 90 million pounds of herbicides on their lawns, primarily to get rid of […]

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Works in Progress: Summer 2020

The current cross stitch project. This one is a Dimensions kit called “European Bistro”–16″ x 11″ on Aida cloth, 18 count, so it’s big and a bit picky. I started it in April 2020, and it’s going pretty fast–except that I haven’t done much of the detailing yet–the outlining that creates the illusion of depth […]

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Desert Willow: A Texas Native

It looks like an orchid, doesn’t it? It isn’t, and it isn’t a willow, either. Chilopsis linearis is actually in the begonia family, along with the catalpa tree and the trumpet vine. But the leaves look willow-ish and the native peoples used it in the same way they used willows. Close enough.  Here in the Texas […]

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Mesquite: A Texas Tree

It’s been a blistering summer already, 108 at Bill’s weather station yesterday afternoon. But summer has another way of announcing itself here in the Texas Hill Country. The beans are beginning to ripen and drop from the honey mesquites (Prosopis glandulosa), to the great delight of the raccoons, rabbits, possums, coyotes, and deer. (I’ve read […]

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Broody Girl

Life in the MeadowKnoll chicken yard is usually serene and uneventful, a welcome relief to the chaos of Covid-time. Our five Girls lead a tranquil life, punctuated only by frequent visits from Mom (me), their regular egg-laying visits to the nest box, and the irregular visits of the bull snakes that like to snack on […]

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Gotta Love Pizza

Our corner of the country is about 25 round-trip miles from the nearest pizzeria  and home delivery is out of the question. So for 30+ years, it’s been make-your-own or do without. I thought I’d share my recipe, in case you’re facing a pizza shortage in this Covid-era Our pizza starts with a very old […]

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The 2020 Work-in-Progress

                                    I’m about six weeks into “European Bistro” (a Dimensions chart), the current cross stitch project. I’m enjoying the complexity of it. This part (lower left corner of the finished piece)  has a great deal of depth, achieved […]

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