My Carnivorous Garden

`Here in the cold shackles of February I’ve turned my thoughts toward spring and my own ideas about gardening. Yesterday the afternoon was warm and breezy, and so I wandered outdoors for a little yard work. Of course, much of the work I did was in my head. Gardening always starts out that way for me. Being an academic, I like to reflect on my manual labor before I do it. I like to give my...

A Bug by Any Other Name

All over the upcountry this morning the warm, south-facing sides of houses are covered with boxelder bugs. Have you seen them? They’re orange and black and about a half-inch long. I make this prognostication because it’s true at my house. The boxelder bugs are swarming, so they’re probably swarming elsewhere. I’ve noticed them in other years, but this time it’s...

Winter is a Coming In

We’re officially not quite half-way between autumn equinox on September 21st and winter solstice on December 21st, but the “cold alert” has been sounding in our house the last week or so. We’ve had a frost, the leaves are falling, and the heat’s even kicked on two or three times. My wife Betsy looks to the mercury creeping downward as a time to mourn the passing of...

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