Birds fascinated my father. I could never quite understand why. Not until he died. My mother dumped his bird-watching books on me. Then I knew what the scientist in him saw when he watched birds in their natural habitat: great variety, adaptations to environment, the living proof of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, at least […]Read more "Birds of a Feather: Proverbs and Idioms"
They’re not visible to the naked eye, but I hear their raucous cawing every day, the very second I open the door. Crows, maybe ravens. No matter where I live, these glossy black birds congregate. The only place on earth to escape these intelligent creatures lies far south, in Antarctica. Crows and ravens eat whatever […]Read more "A Murder of Crows, An Unkindness of Ravens"
Although I’d read her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Yearling (1938), in high school, I came to admire Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s work more via the great unifier – food. I bought a paperback copy of Cross Creek Cookery nearly forty years after Charles Scribner’s Sons first published it. Now the spine on my cheap copy splits […]Read more "Muses: Cross Creek and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings"
There’s something about explorers who ventured into the New World that always grips my imagination. Maybe it’s because men could leave home for years, move from place to place, free to be the souls they were born to be. As a woman, I could never have done that. Nor would it be easy today, either. […]Read more "William Bartram and the Nature of Florida"
I left the house this morning, seeking a sense of normalcy in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. What I found in my neighborhood proves the resilience of old houses in Florida. Battered off and on for over 65 years by hurricanes of all strengths, these gems still stand. And so does the natural setting around […]Read more "Traces of Old Florida"