Last Call

As fall color, the caution-yellow flowers of rabbitbrush tend to flare early. They bloomed here, this year, weeks before the aspen or the scrub oak got around to changing. As a wildflower, though, rabbitbrush blooms late, which is why plantswoman Lauren Springer Ogden refers to it as the “last bar open”: a destination where insects gather for one final slug of nectar before the season shuts down.

The Jungle Indoors

On this March afternoon, clouds drift in sullen white-gray flocks, west to east. The sodden remains of last week’s blizzard litter the ground in ragged drifts, their undersides dissolving to slush faster than the tops melt under a disinterested sun. The warming ground and moisture are welcome, but the muck and disarray, on the heels of this very long winter, are not welcoming.

If I want greenery and the promise of another season, I won’t find it outdoors this week, not here…

Mud

Griping about it seems peevish if not gallingly insensitive while a good portion of the nation’s midsection is suffering from the effects of widespread flooding, but I feel compelled to offer a few words on the topic of mud. The thing is, we don’t see it much. In these parts, mud is a relative rarity.…

Hope Springs

Every year it’s the same: as temperatures start creeping up, offering reassurance that winter is winding down, I start obsessing over color. This is a spring thing for many of us living in the world’s temperate zones, I suppose, but I can’t help but feel there’s something slightly dysfunctional about my preoccupation. Don’t get me…