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Possumhaw: Making hay with the ducks

Posted 8/25/2014 in Local Columns

It was time to glean leftover hay and stuff it in a black garbage bag. I always wear black rubber boots, summer or winter. You never know what you might encounter in the fields, and I feel safer with the rubber boots rather than, say, flip flops.

 

Possumhaw: Imagine a world of butterflies

Posted 8/18/2014 in Local Columns

It was nightfall when I slipped to the garden to spy on the parsley. I hoped to catch the caterpillars sleeping. Their tiny heads were nodded forward; they appeared to be sleeping, as everything sleeps.

 

Possumhaw: Bunnies, deer, ducks - now skunks

Posted 8/11/2014 in Local Columns

Coming in from feeding the bunnies, I found Sam doing his morning pushups. He held the pose as he watched me lie on the floor and look up at him. "I have some news. There are skunks under the house."

 

Possumhaw: Three guys and a chainsaw

Posted 8/4/2014 in Local Columns

Shirley, my walking partner, and I sat on the back steps watching Sam, Charles and Ralph cut down 30-foot cedar trees close to the house.

 

Possumhaw: Chiggers, mosquitoes, ants, oh my

Posted 7/28/2014 in Local Columns

The Prairie is not always paradise. Momma used to say, "I'm glad not everybody likes the same thing 'cause then everybody'd want my Henry." Dad wasn't named Henry, but we got the point.

 

Possumhaw: It was a big fish

Posted 7/21/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Just another day in paradise

Posted 7/14/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: 'A time to embrace and a time to refrain'

Posted 7/7/2014 in Local Columns

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."

 

Possumhaw: Indoor cats save wildlife

Posted 6/30/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Time is not on your side

Posted 6/23/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Treasures in a brown paper bag

Posted 6/16/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Gather the hay while you may

Posted 6/9/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: The story of Martha

Posted 6/2/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Scenes from the porch

Posted 5/27/2014 in Local Columns

Nature is remarkably active in the mornings. Taking some time for quiet meditation, I noticed nature has not done the same.

 

Possumhaw: Behind the scenes

Posted 5/19/2014 in Local Columns

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?"

 

A 'late child' remembers her mother

Posted 5/12/2014 in Local Columns

Dear Frances, "Sarah said, 'God has brought me laughter and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me...'"

 

Possumhaw: One week ago tonight

Posted 5/5/2014 in Local Columns

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."

 

Possumhaw: One night in the pen

Posted 4/28/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Busy week in the Prairie

Posted 4/21/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

Possumhaw: Hanging by a thread

Posted 4/14/2014 in Local Columns

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.

 

 

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