Author Archives: Liza

Lichen

In this in-between season, before the snow falls, when the light slants at a lower angle, the eye is drawn to what the foliage and flowers had kept hidden: the almost otherworldly beauty of lichens. Splayed across stones, spreading over … Continue reading

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First Fall

“We look at the world once, in childhood, the rest is memory,” Nobel Prize-winning poet Louise Glück wrote in her poem “Nostos”.  I’ve been thinking about the wisdom of those lines these past few golden weeks in the Berkshires. Working … Continue reading

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Mist

These early Autumn mornings often arrive cocooned in mist — beautiful, mysterious, and somewhat haunting. There’s nothing necessarily poetic about mist; meteorologically, it’s just the result of longer nights and the warmer earth interacting with the cooler air, causing water … Continue reading

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Zinnias

Zinnias are the clowns of the late summer garden.  Wacky, sporting mis-matched and often outrageous color combinations, they bob  behind the ranks of chic perennials on stalks as long and sturdy as stilts. They’re just too silly to be taken … Continue reading

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Heat

The heat this past week was no joke.  It wasn’t the sticky neck or blurry glasses stuff of most mid-summers. Iced tea on the back screen porch was no remedy. Or a fan in a darkened bedroom. This was a … Continue reading

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Lepidoptera

Though both moths and butterflies are classified as Lepidoptera and are often confused with one another, there are several anatomical ways to tell them apart.  Their antennae, wings, pupae, and eyes are different, though it might take an advanced degree … Continue reading

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Familiar faces

The snake is back in the vegetable garden.  I heard him this morning, slithering through the dead leaves between the compost bin and the sprouting raspberry canes.  I haven’t seen him yet, but I know what he looks like: a … Continue reading

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Color of the Sky

Spring is arriving in the Berkshires in fits and starts. It’s a slightly disorienting, in-between time. The sun is higher and stronger, but the trees are just beginning to leaf out, and the harsh bright light can be blinding. It’s … Continue reading

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The night migrations

I woke up in the middle of the night and heard the wild geese overhead. Their cries seemed to go on and on. This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of birds are migrating across the skies … Continue reading

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The Dead of Winter

It snowed last night.  It’s snowing now.  It will snow through the afternoon. There’s been a rhythm and repetitiveness to this winter’s weather that’s a bit like a Latin conjugation: amo, amas, amat.  Though there’s been very little to love … Continue reading

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Vixen

I sensed her — a blur in the woods, a fresh set of tracks in the snow — before I saw her.  At times, when the feeders were usually aflutter with activity, the birds would suddenly vanish.  I had the … Continue reading

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Good bones

This is the time of year when the contours of the Berkshire hills once again dominate the view. Gentle and curvaceous, they recline against the winter landscape, silent as the snow that often covers their flanks. Melville imagined Mount Greylock … Continue reading

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First snow

The heavier snow was supposed to fall north of us.  We were to get just a light dusting. The long mild November had managed to keep the idea of winter at bay. Only a week or so ago the oaks … Continue reading

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Yellow landscape

It’s been a muted fall in the Berkshires. The spring plague of gypsy moths followed by endless weeks of rain (July was the wettest on record) did a number on the leaves. Some just seemed to drop en masse overnight … Continue reading

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