Spring Arrivals (Arachnophobia alert!)

Lantana April 13

As spring accelerates toward summer, everything is growing and blooming and nesting.

Succulent April 28

Live Oak April 17

Sun is the catalyst, speeding life along.

Hoverfly March 15

Ladybird March 16

Spiderlings March 25

Swallowtail April 19

Swallowtail Egg April 28

Swallowtail Caterpillar April 28

Blue gray Gnatcatcher April 13

Chickadee April 19

Cardinal April 20

Sometimes a shadow overhead interrupts the yard’s chirrup and flutter.

Eagle April 20

Eagle April 20

But spring resumes when the danger has passed.

Cardinal April 20

Robin April 20

Grackle April 19

Grackle April 19

Some afternoons turn sleepy with increasing heat.

Mallards April 27

Mallards April 27

Rabbit April 16

Rabbit Nest April 25

But evenings are cool and mosquito-free, perfect for exploring.

Rabbit Baby April 28

Perfect for sitting outside with a book, too. I haven’t been doing much writing, but I’ve been reading a lot, working my way through a stack of nonfiction, historical fiction, classic sci-fi, and poetry. Now I want to add a few graphic novels to my shelf. Any suggestions?

Introducing a Live Oak (Treebeard)

Live Oak Oct 12

We planted a tree yesterday — a live oak from Friends of Live Oaks in Virginia Beach. From the time we left to pick up our tree until the time we stood back and admired our work, the entire process took less than three hours.

Live Oak Oct 12

The result of our three hour investment will (hopefully) outlive us. It’s a profoundly satisfying concept, that something so simple can be so permanent.

Live Oak Oct 12

The website says these trees may live 1,400 years, a span impossible to feel. I’ve lived forty-four years. My father lived fifty-two years. My mother, seventy-six. My grandmother, one hundred years.

Beyond one hundred years, I’m grasping mist. A few family photos from the late 1800s. A Civil War diary. A name that may or may not be an ancestor. Rumors and speculation.

Live Oak Oct 12

It makes me wish paper could be shaved, sheet by sheet, from a tree’s cross-section. Pages would preserve rings far more interesting than the words I write. Seasons of flood and drought, ages of ice, flashes of fire.

Today our little live oak has two rings, three at most. Each says nursery in healthy excess. Next year a smaller ring will say transplanted. After that? Mist again…

Live Oak Oct 12

I haven’t named any of the yard’s trees, until now. A few days ago I started calling the live oak Treebeard, and the name stuck.