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. […]

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 […]

Where the Bluebirds Sing

Bluebirds used to visit my yard. The landscape starts at your front door. And nothing says that better than stepping outside on a spring day as a flash of blue darts around the corner. It comes when you are not looking so you find yourself doubting, did I just see that? A bluebird evokes wonder […]

Finding Tarburner Spring

I am enchanted by water trickling out of the earth. Perhaps it is primordial, this deep evolutionary connection terrestrial animals have to water, a calling back to the first element. Or perhaps it is simple poetry — these two disparate elements, earth and water, one all solid and form, the other shapeless and incorporeal, mingling […]