Category Archives: Musings

Rerun: Men of Rice

Feeling nostalgic tonight, looking over our almost frozen backyard, so I decided to rerun this old post from 2012.  That trip was one of the formative experiences of my life. Men of Rice

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Where the Words Live

  Writing about our backyard requires words.  Lots of them, of high quality.  So I keep a supply of all the best words handy, and, in this house, they mostly live in the book up above, which, as you may … Continue reading

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Going Native

Our yard—front and back—is a curious place, located at a cultural and environmental crossroads.  Depending on one’s point of view, our yard is a treasure, an eyesore, an oasis of biological diversity, a blight on the neighborhood, something to be … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Landscaping, Musings, Native Plants, Society, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Seagull Named Emma

We have never had a seagull in our backyard, at least to my knowledge. So let me be clear up front that if you are expecting a heartwarming tale of an errant seabird squawking its way into Nadia’s heart or … Continue reading

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The Long Travelers: Leaf-cutter Bees, Part II

Life travels, and a lot of it has made the journey to our backyard.  That includes Nadia and me–a few hundred miles from my point of origin for me and considerably more for Nadia.  Some of this life travels north … Continue reading

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Cutting-up in Columbia: Leaf-cutter Bees in the Yard

One of the joys of yard-watching in our urban wilderness is that you never know what you might find and where curiosity might take you.  One fine summer day as I patrolled our domain, camera in hand, I came across … Continue reading

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The Forest Unseen: A Book Review

  Where backyards are concerned, size really doesn’t matter.  Even a square meter can yield a world of insight. David Haskell’s wonderful award-winning book, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (Penguin Books, 2012), begins its preface with a … Continue reading

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The Ballad of Quercus flatus: A Tale of Spring

The sap is rising in our backyard.  Spring has finally sprung (we think), after a couple of false alarms, and signs of life abound.  Our redbud is budding red, our wahoo is leafing out and preparing to flower (Wahooooooo!!), our … Continue reading

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Beyond the Fence

Our backyard is inexhaustible. No, I don’t mean that it never gets tired, although that may be true, but that it is so much more than a plot of land enclosed by a battered fence out behind our house, as … Continue reading

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Beneath the Surface: Part Two

We think we’re safe. In the fenced-in enclave of our backyard, we watch life come and go in security that’s about as good as it gets.  When we venture out of our backyard, as we often do, we retain a … Continue reading

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