PTOP: Wild Grass

We do such disservice to grass by mowing it! A few days ago, I was looking through a folder of photo files from a walk-about at Camp Hardtner in early February. Don’t remember what I was looking for. As happens with some regularity, I found images I had completely forgotten about. That walk-about was primarily to identifying plant species for my ongoing Camp Hardtner Assessment Project. (More on that another time.) But I was distracted by a tall clump of wild grass. Wild grass that is allowed to grow presents a different beauty for every season. Come February, it has…

PTOP: Confused with Flowers

It has not been a peaceful day. We have made such a mess of things. But no one thought to tell the rose pogonias at Camp Hardtner, so they bloomed anyway. Robert Frost (1874-1963) wrote a poem about rose pogonias.* I’m so glad it’s in the public domain. I must share the whole thing with you. Rose Pogonias A saturated meadow, Sun-shaped and jewel-small, A circle scarcely wider Than the trees around were tall; Where winds were quite excluded, And the air was stifling sweet With the breath of many flowers,— A temple of the heat. These were bowed us…

PTOP: Splish, splash…

Look closely. There’s a blue jay in the middle of that flying water! And he hogged the bath for a full 15 minutes. The mockingbord (below) had already had her turn. A red-headed woodpecker landed above the bath on the edge of the deck shade roof, but the jay just kept splashing mightily. The woodpecker gave up and left. I am learning from the birds! They are finally getting me properly trained. If I faithfully clean and refill the “birdbath” every other day or so, they reward me with exuberant displays. You just can’t watch them without grinning at the…

PTOP: Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

“PTOP” stands for “Peace in the Time of Pandemic,” and this blog series is my offering to the common good to help us through this time of physical distancing and searching for new kinds of community. It will feature moments of peace, perhaps better conveyed by the Hebrew shalom, meaning harmony, wholeness, completeness. So come along! Today we walk down a trail in Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge that traces a point of land jutting out into the lake on the east side of the boat ramp. Those of you who live at higher elevations might accuse us Louisianans…