Out and About

Savoring Spice Bushes

As spring begins to overtake winter, the first little green leaves are often Tartarian honeysuckle followed by autumn olive, two invasives.  Then splashes of yellow can be seen along forest edges. This is not forsythia but spice bush flowers, a native shrub.  Those flowers are very small, but in aggregate they make the woods very... Read More

Savoring Spice Bushes

Eastern daisy fleabane

Have you noticed lots of weeds 2-3 feet high with white flowers or rays around yellow centers?  They seem to be growing everywhere this year – in vacant lots, along roadsides, in gardens. Eastern daisy fleabane (Erigeron annus) is prolific this year.  I have decided that some of it looks well in my garden, but... Read More


Salsify – isn’t that what old timers call the oyster plant because it tastes slightly like oysters?  I found a stiff plant with a yellow flower that I identified as western salsify.  Same plant? Not quite.  Western salsify (trogopogon dubius Scop) sports a yellow flower while the salsify vegetable (T. pomfolius) has purple flowers.  Actually... Read More


Recently I had to remove some turf to extend a garden of shrubs. I’m hoping the shrubs will act as a snow fence in the years to come so I don’t get snow drifts blocking my drive. Peeling back turf revealed lots of things: tiny roots from the removed grass, lots of varied-sized stones and... Read More


…Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang  from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below.... Read More

Cherry canker

Late winter is the time to prune many fruit-bearing trees and vines.  I took my loppers and a step ladder to prune my cherry trees, removing crossed twigs and branches to clear out the central area and provide more air circulation. It was then I noticed a gummy substance leaking from a long “rip” on... Read More