From the dock the lake below was crystal clear, reminding me of those glass-bottomed boat rides of my childhood. I'm still taken with the creatures that dwell below the surface. I wish I could say, dwell harmoniously, but often it's not.
Sam asked if I wanted to go on vacation anytime soon, and I said that I'd rather wait 'til fall when things cool off; besides, it's hard to imagine any place better than this "recreational paradise" I live in.
If ever I felt like Mother Goose, it was that day. A duck was tucked against my chest; my arms were wrapped tightly around her. I wanted her to feel the beating of my heart. I whispered to her, "You're OK."
ack sat quietly at the porch rail overlooking the bird feeders. I imagined him recalling the day he would crouch under the fading irises and wait to spring on a cardinal, an indigo bunting, a Prothonotary warbler, perhaps a hummingbird.
It was one of those odd days when plans went awry and I found myself hanging. "All dressed up and no place to go," as they say.
The walls of Toni's bedroom were lined with books from the floor to the ceiling. At the foot of the bed was a small sitting area with a thrifted brocade couch and a small coffee table, where Toni drank tea in real china tea cups, also thrifted.
Sitting on the homemade bench, my one hand rested on Rex's head. My fingers moved slowly and absentmindedly around his neck and over his long ears. The other hand held a book while I read to him.
Martha died at the age of 29 after having suffered a stroke. Martha, namesake of Martha Washington, spent most of her life behind bars. Her remains are housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Nature is remarkably active in the mornings. Taking some time for quiet meditation, I noticed nature has not done the same.
I mentioned to Dewitt Hicks how lovely the gardens at his home, Rosewood Manor, look when I cut through on Seventh Street North. "But I never see anyone working in the gardens?"
"Sarah said, 'God has brought me laughter and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me...'"
A curtain of darkness fell as we spread blankets and pillows on the floor near the stairway. Sam watched the local news until the satellite cut out. An ominous message came across the screen saying, "Don't call us -- we already know."
The bunny numbers had grown to four, though not in the usual way. The first bunny, small and untamed, was Toby. He began his life at the Bardwells in a birdcage that opened into a small bathroom.
On the heels of a quiet, cold winter, the Prairie house became a whirl of activity. It's good to enjoy those quiet winter days; they don't last long. Our visiting turkey hunters set out early and came in late, thus we rarely saw our guests. I caught up with my brother, Skip Shelton, coming in at the late hour of 9 p.m. His eyes looked bleary. "You can't run on a few hours of sleep," I said.
Saturday a ghastly thing happened at the Prairie house. While Sam was gone fishing I discovered a mouse clinging to the Big Tom sticky trap. I have vowed time and time again not to use those cruel traps, however successful they are.
The Wall Street Journal headlined "A Delicious Prescription: Chefs and doctors are teaming up to create health food you might actually crave."
Inheriting the "clipper" gene from our mother, my brother and I trade clipped newspaper articles, his from national newspapers on food, birds, nature and mine from the local sports pages on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The jean jacket label said Bangladesh. Prairie skirt made in the U.S.A. Old Navy jacket made in China, as was the Longleaf camo jacket, as was the Ralph Lauren skirt. Really? Ralph Lauren made in China? Ann Taylor -- Hong Kong; MSU baseball hat -- Taiwan R.O. C. Shoes were a mix of Brazil, Mexico and China.
The caller said, "I read in the paper that you wanted a rabbit."
The boys were all excited about their fishing weekend. Tim wanted to kick off his recent retirement, and Greg, looking forward to the birth of his second child, wanted a quiet weekend to fish; Sam agreed to host. Quick to seize opportunity, I called my college roommate, Toni, and suggested we meet for a girls' night.
Over and over again I watched Sam haul heavy bundles of yard cuttings and leaves over to the habitat pile. It touched my heart deep.
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