Lyre-leaf sage. Isn’t it a pretty name? And a pretty flower? But this is another of those “weeds” people poison and mow and pluck out of precious lawn grass. Lyre-leaf sage is native, it spreads by seed, it can make a lovely groundcover (a good native alternative to Ajuga / Bugle), and I just this minute learned it is an excellent nectar plant for hummingbirds. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Hummingbird weeds”
Here’s my article from our neighborhood newsletter.
In it, I share what I’m trying at home
- Diverse lawn
- Shrinking lawn
- Lazy lawn
- Native lawn
- Messy lawn
- Toxin-free lawn
Our kid is sick, I’m stuck at home, and it’s too cold and wet to sit in the yard. But, I have been able to get out for two neighborhood walks.
Here is my report for Earth Day:
Saw confirmation the Osage Orange tree we drive past every is a boy. I’m still learning the gender spectrum of tree species: some are male, some are female, some are both. Some have “perfect” flowers with male and female bits, and some trees can surprise you with twigs that morph into one or the other. Osage Orange trees are dioecious: either male or female (usually), and now I know not to expect fruit from this particular specimen. These flowers are male:
Maple flower flurries.
No sitting on the porch with a teacup today: falling flowers flit past the brim despite my hand as cover.
This is one of those milestones of spring easily missed, especially if you don’t happen to live or walk or park under a Sugar Maple.
I love this moment. It helps make up for the maple flowers leaving, and the maple leaves coming. If I pay attention to all the steps—from bud to budburst to flower to leaf to fruit—spring feels slower, more manageable, less panicked. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Maple Flower Flurries”
Got this envelope in the mailbox today:
It reads: “Address lawn threats now. Love your lawn this summer” Continue reading “When lawncare means poison”
An experiment to see if I can round-up my recent Insta posts and organize them here . . . Continue reading “Insta nature”
Our dog walk took us to the vacant lot again. Every visit rewards us with new things to notice. Today the new things were new seeds (a sudden green ash windfall) and new graffiti:
Nature IS all around us, even while reading a book called “Nature All Around Us.”
This little terrestrial isopod was found stranded in our bath today. At first I thought it was the usual woodlouse or pillbug, but look at those angled antennae and that spiky, forked “tail!!” Continue reading “Nature All Around Us, even in the loo”
Folks get sad with the short days and cold weather, so I need to advertise what might be a brief antidote.
In the grass.
In late December.
Henbit’s tiny purple trumpets, chickweed’s white stars, and ivy-leaf speedwell’s bright blue eyes are all twinkling from the grass right now in Nashville. Continue reading “Winter Solstice flowers”
Winter solstice came and went, and this time I marked it with fire, and even better, with the publication of last year’s winter solstice story. I am grateful to Chapter 16 for including it in December’s essay lineup.
Chapter 16 is a branch of Humanities Tennessee, and it acts as our “virtual Tennessee Center for the Book.” And lucky for me, they also publish original essays from time to time.