I am happy to be included in The Hopper! My essay is called “What White Tree is Blooming Now,” so I wanted a pic of the #litmag next to . . . a white tree blooming now. But in September, there just aren’t many white trees around. However, like most Southern cities, Nashville does have a shit-ton of crepe myrtles. And even though crepe myrtles are classed as shrubs, they can soar to over 30 feet. And as nearly every suburban block proves, these plants bloom month after month after month, taking us from summer to fall. Continue reading “The only white tree blooming now”
“NO electronics on this playdate,” I yelled, “so do NOT even ask.”
On the Secret Path today:
When a climbing vine casts its tip out and out but finds nothing to grab, it will curve round and grab itself.
That’s what’s happened here. You can see the loop at the bottom of the photo, and how it continues as a younger, greener “switchback” still counter-clockwising up its earlier self.
The vine’s goal is to aim for sunlight by the most expedient means, which in this case is its own body. Continue reading “Secret Path: milkweed vine”
When I was a kid, sweat bees were the enemy. Now we are.
This little sweat bee is gathering pollen from a native Carolina rose.
See the yellow grains stuck to the hairs on her legs?
She’s likely gathering provisions for eggs laid in a teensy underground tunnel. Continue reading “Why this sweat bee and I hate your mosquito contract”
Dead Southern Magnolia leaves are as much a sign of spring as are the big, white bowls in bloom above them right now. Continue reading “Southern Magnolia (shed cycle)”
Walnut time is here again, and I’ve just realized I never posted my walnut work from a couple of years ago. I need to record what I’ve made so far, because 1) I’ll build on it next time, or 2) there will be no next time. I never know if an enthusiasm will catch fire or burn out. Either way, walnut work must be logged.
Here’s a “driveway moment,” but not the National Public Radio kind:*
After hovering around our faces for a comically long time, this little hoverfly decided the most attractive thing in the driveway was the eraser of a new Ticonderoga pencil. It hugged the pink tip while we examined it (such big eyes you have!), while we took photos, while we passed it between us, and even after we had to set the pencil on a rock because our hands had gotten tired.
Continue reading “Driveway Hoverfly”
I grew up thinking there was one kind of katydid: the big green jobs that sang their name at night. But apparently, there are oodles. We found this one, a Meadow Katydid (Conocephalis nemoralis?), lounging under the passionvine in the driveway. It didn’t seem to mind being borrowed for observation. It groomed itself nonstop in the cage, flicked its crazy-long antennae like an fly-fisher casting for trout, and sort of murmured. Continue reading “Meadow Katydid (in the driveway)”
“It’ll take over,” our neighbor warned, followed by: “I cannot believe you planted Perilla.” But, I didn’t plant Perilla. Perilla just happens. This was years ago, and the first time I’d heard the name. Until then, I only knew it as the maroon thing that fluffed in every flower bed (and pot and driveway crack) if allowed, and that the leaves looked like basil but smelled like licorice. Continue reading “Driveway-Crack Flowers: Perilla”
Found this lone lacewing egg on a passionvine leaf I picked for our Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. The eggs are exquisite: teeny TicTacs on hair-like stalks, usually laid in a row with spaces between (to prevent cannibalism amongst siblings). Continue reading “Lacewing egg”