Sunny Daffodils

Though I have planted a variety of daffodils since moving here, the first to flower are always the ones that came with the house. They are the classic showy bright yellow blooms, and either the previous owners were wildly ambitious, or they have seeded themselves into many new clumps. The first blossoms opened this week,… Continue reading Sunny Daffodils

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Hardy Hellebores

Hellebores come from Eurasia but have happily settled into gardens across the world. Mine came with the house, several plants flanking the sidewalk and largely shaded except for a few hours of angled sun. Though showing buds for nearly a month, the first flowers just opened this week. Their blossoms are highly specialized, and not… Continue reading Hardy Hellebores

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Eye-Catching Dwarf Iris

In winter I am always impatient for spring. No garden can equal the tide of new life provided annually by nature, but I try to offer flowers when nothing is available in the forests or fields. One of my garden goals is to have something blooming every day of the year. Already I have seen… Continue reading Eye-Catching Dwarf Iris

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Great Blue Heron

My property is bisected by Sinking Creek, a 10-mile tributary of the Watauga River. The Watauga River originates from a spring at Linville Gap in North Carolina. It starts from the western side of the Continental Divide and ultimately its waters flow to the Gulf of Mexico, while the Linville River on the opposite side… Continue reading Great Blue Heron

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Seeds of Friendship

I visited Cuba in 2016 on a botanical trip, visiting beautiful gardens and searching for endangered plants. One of our destinations, Viñales, is known for amazing geological formations. Limestone hills called mogotes rise steeply from the valley. With their isolation, they have many endemic species. A week into our trip, I arranged with our local… Continue reading Seeds of Friendship

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Puttyroot

For as long as I can remember, expeditions to winter woods set my aunt off in a frenzied search for puttyroot. I was always vaguely disappointed that we only found leaves. Despite years of shared walks, we never saw the flowers together. This incessant search continued well into her 80s. She and my uncle moved… Continue reading Puttyroot

Winter Woods

After a record warm start to the new year, the rest of this week has compensated by being extra cold and snowy. Two separate snowstorms blanketed the forest with white. Yesterday’s high was in the mid 20’s, and this morning it dipped into the teens, only rising above freezing shortly before noon. Winter seems determined… Continue reading Winter Woods

New Year’s Day Blossoms

My father viewed paths as suggestions, and we spent as much time off trails as on them. With rare exceptions he viewed our woods wanderings as detours rather than being lost. Once the flashlights came out, he would reluctantly admit perhaps we had not ended up where he intended. Still, because of these explorations we… Continue reading New Year’s Day Blossoms