Category nature

Photo shows a large pile of flat gray stones called Goshen stone

Construction Day 1

There’s a phrase, live lightly on the land, that would be nice to adhere to, but sometimes to get there you have to make a mess first. When my wife and I moved to our little slot of paradise a few years ago, we knew we wanted a nature preserve vibe. We’ve worked to remove […]

Photos shows a wreath-like circle of twigs forming a wren nest inside the back support of a satellite dish

There’s Birding and Then There’s Birding

The house wren is back. This insouciant little guy clicks and clatters a call that sounds more like a baseball card in bike spokes than a bird. For a couple of years he tried building a nest in my satellite dish (for internet before my small town finally got wired). His girlfriends never went for […]

Photograph of foggy tree-covered hills layered in front of each other with water in the foreground

So, Back to Writing

I’m reading a very cool book, In Search of the Canary Tree, by Lauren E. Oakes. It’s early yet, and in it she’s just starting her Ph.D. research project analyzing yellow-cedar forests on an island in the Alexander Archipelago of southeast Alaska, near Sitka. What does this have to do with writing? I’m enthralled by […]

white flower of mountain laurel, with green behind

Worldbuilding

Each morning, when the weather is nice, I sit on my porch and eat my snack while my second cup of coffee perks. It’s now late June. The yard looks lush and at peak greenery. The mountain laurel are flowering—white and pink snowballs covering the bushes. The smaller sheep laurel dots the surrounding green with […]

There’s No Birding in Space

At heart I’m a nature girl, so it was hard to write a novel that takes place mostly on a space ship. In Endurance, Captain Lyn Randall even laments about wanting to hear bird song and feel the wind. It’s summer now here in New England and the days are long. I’ll wake up at […]

Stream and trees in snow

Winter Notes

In the evening when it’s dark and the stars shine bright, I like to stand by an open window and listen and breathe and look into the night. Winter air can be odorless. Or a pocket of scent might startle me, usually when walking through the woods. It could be the mild skunk-like musk of […]

orange fungus on stump

Writing Is like a Fungus

Already, I’m letting this blog down. It’s been too long since I’ve written. Well, I’ve been writing, and that’s the good news, just not here. What’s been happening? I’m working on a novel. My second, so you’d think it would be easier, right? Nope. Now I know all my weaknesses and found some new ones. […]

beaver lodge, pond

Back Home

There’s a meme going around social media: what advice would you give your younger self. I’m not sure what it’s intended to do. Make you feel better about where you’ve ended up? Or feel worse? My 20- and 30-something self would be amazed. I never contemplated where my life would take me. I’ve had the […]

Fungus on tree trunk

Today, 9/1/18

You’ve heard about driveway moments—you’re in the car, listening to a really good radio program but have arrived home, so you sit in the driveway to listen to the rest before going inside. My driveway moments happen without a car. Each morning, I like to step out onto my driveway and greet the day. One […]

Trees backlit by sun

Today, 8/28/18

I haven’t had much time to reflect on my new life, here in western Massachusetts. There’s been no lack in appreciation. Even on hot days like today, I love the smell of the summer grass. After a thunderstorm, I love how the air cools down. My mother used to always mention that when I was […]

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