Filed under Wildlife

Our Backyard Weekend: The Hatchlings!

Our Backyard Weekend: The Hatchlings!

This was the perfect gardening weekend. We decided to stay close to home, and a good thing too: Our first hatchlings of the season just made their debut. First, we spotted a mourning dove nest in the front yard, so flimsy, precarious, and low to the ground that every time I pass by, I have … Continue reading

Family Matters at Dyke Marsh

Family Matters at Dyke Marsh

Now that spring has finally sprung, I look forward to our walks at my favorite local place to watch the seasons turn: the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Just south of Old Town Alexandria along the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Dyke Marsh does have its scrappy patches, the old wounds still visible and, in places, growing. Still, there … Continue reading

Spring on The High Line

Spring on The High Line

An an oasis of wildflowers, suspended over the buzz and industry of Chelsea and its meatpacking district, The High Line is my New York City favorite. A mile of abandoned freight rails transformed into a garden path of native blooms, urban art, and peaceful nooks, it is a public space extraordinaire, enchanting even in early spring, when … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Pale

Travel Theme: Pale

I did not have to travel far for my contribution to this week’s Travel Challenge: Pale. Spring is taking its time to reach the garden this year.  But, at long last, one of my woodland favorites is here: Jeffersonia dyphilla is venturing its first white blooms. This lovely native wildflower was named after Thomas Jefferson … Continue reading

Orchid Magic

Orchid Magic

I’ve been aching for some aliveness, something bright, and fragrant, and growing, so this Washington Post love letter to Orchids of Latin America, an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History, cemented my weekend plans. A stroll through a tropical rainforest abloom–a fleeting visit to “the jungles of Costa Rica, the vanilla farms of Mexico, the conservation forests of … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home (and Garden)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home (and Garden)

This week’s photo challenge is Home: “share a picture that evokes HOME for you.“ Apart from my family–the one I was born to, and the one that grew around me over the years–my home is the garden that embraces our house. When I garden, I imagine myself the Little Prince, tending his planet against the catastrophe of … Continue reading

Cats of Old San Juan

Cats of Old San Juan

The multitude of pigeons in Old San Juan encourages the presence of their inevitable counterparts: legions of feral cats. Like pigeons, cats are a common sight along the Old Town’s narrow streets. They look healthy and seem to get regularly fed by fellow city residents. Many are friendly and curious, but most are watchfully uninterested–like cats … Continue reading

Pigeons of Old San Juan

Pigeons of Old San Juan

Pigeon, that at once annoying and endearing vermin, is a common sight wherever you go. In San Juan’s Old Town, though, their presence is particularly hard to tune out: Pigeons are everywhere. There is even an entire park devoted to them, Parque de las Palomas, where they nest in the City Wall, lounge in trees overlooking the … Continue reading

Two Craters and Two Ruins

Two Craters and Two Ruins

Though not the brightest nor the most astonishing memory, I keep thinking about one day of our American Southwest vacation: the day we visited two very different craters, walked among lava flows and cinder hills, and saw ruins of ancient Native American dwellings just as the dusk approached. Arizona’s Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater Volcano National … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Multiples

Travel Theme: Multiples

I loved the whirlwind of color, movement, and imagination stirred up by this week’s travel theme challenge from Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack: Multiples. There are so many great responses. I’d like to add mine to the chorus. My swarms, rows, and badelynges of multiples are grouped by season and month when I encountered them. 1. Winter  2. … Continue reading

A Walk in the Woods:  Rijster Bosch, Netherlands

A Walk in the Woods: Rijster Bosch, Netherlands

It was a grey, cold day. Fog settled in the morning and stayed, thick, milky, still. We drove to Gaasterland, the land of gentle hills, forests planted long ago, and sleepy towns in the southwestern part of Friesland, a province in northern Netherlands. My mother and stepfather like one of the forests there–Rijster Bosch (or Rijsterbos), a quiet, spellbinding … Continue reading

My Peaceful Place: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

My Peaceful Place: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

In this season of “must-haves” and “must-dos,” it is easy to lose one’s balance. There is one place I usually think of when I need to catch my breath: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, one of our favorite places in the world. Poplar Spring is a 400-acre refuge for farm animals and wildlife in Poolesville, Maryland. … Continue reading

Zion National Park: A Glimpse of Paradise

Zion National Park: A Glimpse of Paradise

“…for glory of scenery and stupendous scenic effects [Zion] cannot be surpassed…It is a marvelous piece of Nature’s handiwork that is worth going a long distance to see.” (Thomas Moran, artist) We almost missed Zion. It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, and, for a moment, we even thought … Continue reading