We are late to the late winter tradition of tapping maples for sap and then syrup. This is only our second season, after learning that you don’t have to have a sugar maples to get sweet returns for your efforts. This is our yield from this year’s few days of collecting sap (up to 2 gallons a day) while the days were still cool enough to cook it up on the wood stove. We make a little syrup for a couple of pancake suppers …

Future for Maples: Not So Sweet Read more »

Some leafhoppers look for all the world like thorns on the side of a twig. Some are remarkably colorful or bizarrely shaped–if you take the time to look very closely. (In this image, the splash of color is the garden shed roof in the distance.) These three were conspicuous, all lined up in a row on a ragweed stem, I think, up above the garden. But when I attempted to take a picture, they got shy. All of them in unison moved to the …

Sharpshooters In our Woods Read more »

The title here came first as I sat mulling over the possibilities this morning, and so a wildflower closeup or some other oooooh-ahhhhh image would have been more appropriate perhaps, but this is what I selected from the recent Lumix shots now up at Flickr. This landscape, maybe because I’m spending so much time OUT THERE these days, obligate slave to the grass to be mown and various other vegetative chaos like the overgrown road bank just beyond the corner of the house. Today …

Boredom, Blight and Beauty Read more »

I’m not sure I have any other images these 13 years here of a lizard. They just–at least until lately–have not been able to survive winters this far north. A generation from now, we may have reticulated pythons and Gila Monsters on Goose Creek if the warm moves much farther north. This small “fence swift” (I have named him Tom) was down around the garden this morning, and the macro format of the Lumix LX7 handled it quite well.  The iPhone and the D200 …

Tom Swift Read more »

…and slugs do slither under the bare feet of the wicked. I’m serious. Somehow, more than once, orange (yet again!) slugs have appeared–or been found underfoot–on the hardwood floor of the greatroom. This is not an experience that leaves one’s psyche untrodden. It’s bad enough that they compete (with a host of other potential invertebrate herbivores) for the garden produce. But mucoid muscular mollusks do not belong between one’s toes. Forgive me, but I am whining the buggy blues this morning, driven in from …

Where Moth Doth Corrupt Read more »