I am part of a small group of creative friends who convene to share and refine our impulses and hold ourselves to account. We encourage each other and cheer accomplishments. At the beginning of 2020, we each selected a theme word to keep in mind for the year. It wasn’t a goal per se, and […]

Deer Hunter

An hour before the first light of day we put the guns in the truck and set out from Lynchburg, Virginia, for Amherst County. We drove into the Blue Ridge Mountains on a cold November morning. Doug, the expert deer hunter, and I, the rookie, silently sipped our coffee as the truck bounded up the […]

Dogtown Wisdom

Landscapes have narrative. There is history on the land. It might not be written in stone, but it can be read in the buildings, roads, and towns; in the trees, rocks, and animals; and even in the stories and ruins that linger. A landscape’s history can be chronicled in distinct periods, with each period having […]

The Butterfly Way

I keep a row of potted herbs along my front walk: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme — and oregano and basil. I cut fresh leaves in the summer for cooking, but a greater joy is watching neighbors on their walks stop and admire them. Young children at eye level seem especially intrigued. During friendlier, socially […]

Strolling Wildwood

Wildwood Park sits at the north end of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital. It has everything a nature park in the city should. An eponymous lake is the main feature covering almost half of the 229 acres. A three-mile path circumnavigates and shorter ones branch off leading through a variety of settings. On a Saturday deep into […]

A Tangled Web

A gas pipeline buried next to your house is like the snake in the woodpile. You know it’s there. But you don’t go digging around. And you hope it behaves.  A tangled web of infrastructure crosses our landscapes and plays a big role in how they form and function. Infrastructure is indispensable, formative, and intrusive. […]

The Rocks

A curly headed girl sits on warm granite peering into a tide pool. She picks up a periwinkle and turns it over to watch the smooth suction-cup flesh retract from danger. Putting it back in the water, she watches until it reaches and grabs on. How does something so soft and smooth cling to rough […]

Landscape Anomaly

Until I left for college, I had lived in one town in South Central Pennsylvania. I hadn’t even travelled, except to visit my parents’ hometowns. When you grow up in one place, one landscape, whatever you’ve experienced is your normal. When something occurs that doesn’t fit with your understanding of the place, it sticks out […]

Apple Blossom Story

This is a story about how one small flower can create a landscape. Apple blossoms come to Adams County in Pennsylvania at the end of April. At first the bud has a magenta patina, but as it unfurls, it expands into subtle hues.  Pale pink streaks across five creamy teardrop petals. At its heart, fuzzy yellow […]