It has not been a spectacular year for fall colors in our part of the Southern Appalachians. The prolonged late-summer drought seems likely to have contributed to the subdued palette, but the alchemy of autumn is a many-splendored mystery with regard to the exact combination of temperature and moisture and sun and wind and plant attitude. So we did not expect and did not see spectacular maples, hickories or beech on the parkway in our short walk a few days back. But there is …

The Fading Faint Colors of Fall Read more »

Most people might think it’s a good thing–that there are demonstrably and significantly fewer insects than there were three decades ago. But consider that these morels are critical links between the primary producers (grasses and other greenery that turns sun into food) and the chain of upper-tier eaters that depend on insect biomass to keep their own bodies warm and populations from crashing. “Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this. Research at more than 60 protected …

When The Bottom Falls Out of the Food Web Read more »

This “slice of life” from 2013 also published on Jan 28 to Medium.com where you can see better views of the images. You might consider “following” my Medium.com articles and essays, and “recommend” a few if you find merit. Off the Grid on Goose Creek at Medium.com [su_divider top=”no”] Rhythms change when the lights go out… Even into the third month of round-the-clock wood fires in the stove, it gets no easier to hoist yourself out of bed in the mornings to feed it. Some …

Off Grid on Goose Creek Read more »

Our prescription for an easy fire is this: just toss a couple of cones under the kindling. Then, if you must, use a match. But if you have time, wait for the resin to ignite from last night’s coals. It has been a good year for the pines on Goose Creek. Not only have they produced a copious supply of cones (and the released seeds our chickens forage for under them) but good for us–the woody “leaves” of the cone this year are heavy …

Take Two Pine Cones and Call Me in the Morning Read more »

The mechanics: This shot came from the parking lot of Huffville Methodist Church and was a still capture from a 15 second video inspired by the beauty of racing fingers of wind across the tall grasses. This dance between Earth and Air is one of my favorite visuals from this time of year. The take-home: My first impulse was to describe this to myself as the “animation of the grasses.” And from that, I could easily follow the crumbs of this ancient Greek then …

Animated: The Spirit of Life Read more »