Serious Anole Is Very Serious

You are not serious enough to please Serious Anole. (That handsome plant, by the by, is Camphor Pluchea, a weirdass native wildflower that I grew on a whim, which reseeds readily, if not frighteningly, and about which pretty much nobody knows nuthin’, beyond the dutiful listings in databases. It is an annual and plops itself […]

Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… …nine frogs a-croaking! …eight vultures circling! …seven spiky yuccas! …six types of milkweed! …fiiiive! naaaative! plaaaaants! …four hummingbirds! …three moorhens! …two mourning doves! …and a replacement for a Bradford pear tree!   We have frogs here. Most of the year we merely have […]

Found On Water Barrel

  This handsome fellow was hanging out on my water barrel. This is the same water barrel that is inexplicably full of tadpoles. There are Many Fewer Tadpoles Now. I have a suspicion that he might be involved. But that’s okay. At least the tadpoles are being useful. (I have transferred as many to the […]

Ittiest Bittiest Lizard Ever

I was sitting on the front steps drinking iced tea and reading “Fire Study” (and a big thanks to the people who recommended the trilogy! Have devoured it completley.) and I happened to glance over at my tea and saw the teeniest little blue-tailed lizard darting away to one of the flowerpots. He was maybe […]

Mystery Burrow

So for the last few days, I’ve noticed that there’s been a hole in one of the flowerbeds on the side of the house. Well, “hole” is probably a misnomer. It’s a burrow, plain and simple. Something’s tunneled through the mulch, into the clay, and excavated down. The foundation of the garage will stop them […]

Grumpy Toad

This little guy was lurking in the flowerbeds in the front yard. He’s some sort of toad, but they’re so variable and he lacks any of the really distinctive characteristics, so…well…definitely a toad. He was extremely skinny, which is unusual in my experience—his little belly was concave on the sides. You don’t usually think of […]


I was picking leaves out of the pond this afternoon, and moved a leaf aside to reveal this shocking scene of amphibian debauchery. Frankly, given that they’ve been calling non-stop for about a week—there was a chorus going on while it was snowing—I’m amazed I only found the one couple. These are upland chorus frogs. […]

Alive! But wilted!

Five days away from home with weather skirting the hundreds, and I wasn’t surprised to return and find a great deal of wilting going on in the garden. The big established beds are completely fine, and would likely keep on keepin’ on for a couple more weeks without any supplemental watering, but the plants from […]

June, June, June!

The garden is glorious, so of course I am going out of town for a week at the height of its glory. On the one hand, I am sorry to miss it, on the other hand, I can pretend that was the one week when it all came together and looked totally magnificent, and I […]

Slice of Life: Mulch Rationalization Division

I plodded upstairs this morning to where Kevin was taking a shower and said gloomily “So it finally happened.” KEVIN:  Oh dear… URSULA: I need more mulch. KEVIN: …how much are we getting delivered? URSULA: No! Just five or six bags. Maybe eight. Not a delivery. No. KEVIN: Uh-huh. URSULA:  Really. KEVIN: And how many […]