Blue Flags and Green Frogs

There is a beautiful iris that grows wild here, in marshes and wet meadows. It's called Larger Blue Flag Iris (iris versicolor). I found some blooming recently, in a marsh and along the edge of a pond where my dogs and I spend many mornings exploring. Irises growing alongside a pond, June 17, 2022. "Versicolor"… Continue reading Blue Flags and Green Frogs

A Rose by Any Other Name

The phrase "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’" usually means things are what they are, no matter what name they’re given. The phrase is from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, one of several lines spoken by Juliet Capulet (Act 2, Scene 2) to herself on her balcony but overheard by… Continue reading A Rose by Any Other Name

Green and Flowery

Ah, May. You do deliver the spring goods. After a long winter, Vermont is once again vibrantly green and lush with new growth. So... sensual. Wildflowers are shyly appearing. Trees are leafing out, full of songbirds announcing each day's opening and closing. Fields are exploding with grass, dandelions, and clover, giving the bees sustenance. The… Continue reading Green and Flowery

At Last, Spring

After a long Vermont winter, and several weeks watching winter and spring battling each other for dominance, I feel I can finally announce: spring has arrived. In Idaho, I was used to April being the month when wildflowers emerged. Entire hillsides would be awash in the bright, happy yellow of sunflowers. Now, I've learned, in… Continue reading At Last, Spring

May Day

This post's title and content refers to the old European meaning of May Day. A festival of ancient origins marking the beginning of summer, usually celebrated on 1 May, around halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Traditions often include gathering wildflowers and green branches, weaving floral garlands, crowning a May Queen (sometimes with… Continue reading May Day

Spring Equinox

In the Northern Hemisphere, March 20th was the spring equinox, the first day of spring. It's also referred to as the vernal equinox, vernal meaning fresh, new. It may have been the first day of spring on the calendar. But not so much where I live, in Vermont. It's still snowing every few days, although… Continue reading Spring Equinox

Kansas to Vermont

It’s a rainy, dark and cold Saturday evening in Vermont. I’ve built a fire in the wood stove and poured myself a glass of wine. I’m in a nostalgic mood. I’ve been thinking about how, in two ways, I manage to bring a little bit of Kansas with me wherever I go: a desk, and… Continue reading Kansas to Vermont

Peacham Bog

Conall and I recently explored a bit of nearby Groton State Forest. At more than 26,000 acres, this forest is the second largest contiguous land holding of the State of Vermont. Conall strikes a pose as we head up the trail. The terrain is rolling, forested, and contains several bodies of water: Lake Groton (422… Continue reading Peacham Bog

Poetic Fliers: Monarch Butterflies

One recent morning, as the boys and I were finishing our two-mile perambulation through the fields and woods across the road, I noticed a Monarch butterfly leave the maple trees alongside our path and begin its effortless dance through the air, in search of nectar. Then another Monarch departed from the maples just ahead of… Continue reading Poetic Fliers: Monarch Butterflies

Woolly Bears: A Sign of Autumn

No, Woolly Bears aren't large, furry mammals like black, brown, panda, or polar bears. The Woolly Bears I'm referring to are insects. They're the adorably fuzzy black-with-rust-band caterpillars that appear throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico every autumn, usually in September. I remember being delighted spotting them as a child growing up… Continue reading Woolly Bears: A Sign of Autumn