Coneflowers and friends

On the sunny side of our cabin, we have hundreds of cone flowers (Echinacea), with a few black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and rampant oregano (Origanum vulgare). The cone flowers are very congenial. They sleep until the hyacinths and irises have had their showtime, then grow tall and burst into flower. Their blooms are long-lived. The bees […]

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St. John’s Wort

When we moved here for the lake view, I discovered the property we bought came with flowers. I had to ask my gardener friends the names of everything. I didn’t differentiate the beloved garden perennials (like peonies and day lilies) from the opportunists (like ox-eye daisies and buttercups). I just wanted to know what everything […]

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Of Ants, Aphids, and Dock

I should call my garden Scheherazade. She tells me a thousand and one stories. Nothing gets lopped as long as there is a tale to be told. Today we have Curly Dock, or Rumex crispus, a member of the Buckwheat family. “A deliciously raw tart green if you can find it young. A delicioius cooked […]

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Garden Gone Wild

Last year, hordes of monarch butterflies came through, enjoying a flyway along the shore of Lake Ontario. They were such a delight that I decided to go all in on creating a butterfly garden. I had three stray milkweeds, which the visitors ignored. But I invested in seeds for five varieties of milkweed and dutifully […]

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Courage to live on the edge

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that, for the past month, every time I hear a wave crash against our eroding shore, I flinch. I’m hypervigilante and my brain rushes to worst-case scenarios. Is beauty really worth the agita? Can I take another month of cursing the wicked wind of the west? As a […]

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Mergansers on Lake Ontario

I think of days like today as “white days,” when the sky is bright but overcast and the horizon disappears. Everything is calm and pale-pearly gray. The mergansers (diving ducks) dot the waters. Boy mergansers are still chasing and showing off for the girl mergansers. Soon, with the onset of boat traffic, they’ll migrate to […]

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The other bees

When we moved into a log cabin in June 2015, this city girl stressed out over the fact that carpenter bees loved our wooden home as much as we did. They are belligerent and territorial. They poop liquid sawdust and it dribbles yellow down our red exterior. The pest guys sprayed with little effect. Then […]

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Easter: annual do-over

This year Easter coincides with the late lake spring. It’s a moment to think about starting over, regeneration, second chances. Blooms are on their way, but today we have buds and sprouts. (Click on the images below for a slide show.)

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Flowers, April 19

I went out with an extension tube on my camera lens this morning. The flowers still scarce, I like crouching down for a close-up, letting their color fill my gray-weary eyes.

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April = Anxious

I’m looking hard for evidence that the dozens of bulbs I planted lakeside are sprouting. I’m trying not to look at the shifting and settling and possible disappearance of stones along our rebuilt bank. Life is change. Sometimes too slow. Sometimes too fast. The wind blows.

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