Category Nature

A Good Day to Be a Duck

Last week, I arrived at the Owen Park Band Shell a little early; I play oboe in the Eau Claire Municipal Band, and we weren’t supposed to be set up and ready to play until 7:00 pm. That gave me about 15 minutes to wander around the park. Actually, the more accurate verb was “slosh.” […]

Little Doe

For the past two months, a deer has been grazing placidly alongside the sheep in a neighboring field. When she first appeared, I thought it was a fluke, a lovely four-legged passerby who would vanish within days. But she’s still there, and she’s gone from being “the little doe in Toby’s field” to “Little Doe.” […]

City Mice Invade the Countryside

Recently, my dear urban-dwelling friend the City Mouse visited us with her two Little Mice in tow. Their sojourn here in the countryside was not only a great chance to reunite with people (or mice) that I love, but it reminded me how important it is for kids to have some chances to bond with […]

The Snow Day

The warnings were almost apocalyptic last Tuesday morning: “Almost a foot of snow!” “Blowing!” “Drifting” “Treacherous roads!” “White out conditions!” Although the world was calm and lovely, trees coated in hoarfrost, valleys distant and dreamlike under their spell, local meteorologists were adamant that the peace was only temporary. The world was holding its breath, waiting […]

The Birthday Walk

I took my first Birthday Walk last year, a long meandering journey through the back roads near my house. To be honest, it was more of a Birthday Escape than a Birthday Walk; I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, and unwilling to speak to anyone. But nobody could have remained cranky when brightly clad trees were […]

Hating Day for Butterflies

“Hating day?” I asked incredulously. “Why do you have ‘Hating Day’ marked on your calendar?” “HATCHING day,” Sage explained with all the sanctimonious indignation a seven-year-old can muster. “That’s the day the butterfly will hatch out of its chrysalis.” His father had found a fat monarch caterpillar on the road a couple of days before. […]

More Adventures In and Out of the Hive

After my older colony sent out its second swarm this summer, I decided it was time to take some action. I hoped that rearranging the comb and giving the bees more building space would curb their intense swarminess. (There was an empty space at the end of the hive, but for some reason, the bees […]