Still clinging to my need to lead a “bigger life,” I read Robert MacFarlane’s advice on becoming a naturalist. “Become a monomaniac. Study one species, one acre of ground, one tree, until it has become a foreign country to you (fabulously strange) or one of the things you understand best in the whole world (fabulously
Notes from Candice Ransom
Every so often I’m overtaken by what I call Thoreau Notions. I want to go live someplace by myself, hoe my row of beans, let mice scamper over my shoes, take long walks in the winter and think about the stars. The truth? My idea of roughing it is no room service. Mice are fine
The morning of our field trip, I began reading an article in the new issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, called “The World of the Story” by Eileen Pollack. I had no business reading anything—I had to be at Donna’s house by 7:00. But the piece drew me in with Pollack’s notion of setting in a
Of all the characters in Cinderella, I identify most with the pumpkin, if a pumpkin can be called a character. Yes, the dress is a big step up from rags and the glass slippers are how-fast-can-you-run-‘cuz-I’m-taking-them worthy. But the coach! Imagine being a pumpkin slumbering in the moonlight when suddenly you are magicked right out
“Look at that!” my husband exclaimed one morning. Through the breakfast room window we saw a saucer-sized spider web that seemed to float in midair, a shimmery wheel backlit by the sun. Perfectly round. Perfectly woven with tight spiraling radials. My husband ran for his camera. By the time I reached the back yard with
“Did we drive sixty miles to take a picture of a cat?” my husband asked. Not really. But it was Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and since Sunday and Monday were already spoken for, work-wise, we had to get out. This was our first day trip since Memorial Day. And where did we wind up?
This summer in Roanoke, I dropped money at a boutique called La De Da, so unlikely a place I’d ever shop that my husband called to see if someone was charging on our credit card. I bought unlikely clothes, too, an olive-green knit slip with tulle ruffles I wore as a dress. An ivory eyelet
We were up at 6:00 nearly every morning and walking by 6:30. The Hollins Summer Walking Team–Claudia Mills, Elizabeth Dulemba, and me. We talked, logged in countless miles, and never failed to appreciate the scenery spread before us. I’d come to Hollins this summer not only to teach and talk but to find the
The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, the stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell. The desire to go home, to be whole, to know where you are, to be the
They were fine yesterday, being fed, stirring in the nest. But I noticed squirrel activity in our yard. I went out and drove them off a few times. This morning I sensed the silence. Then I watched the nest, good long minutes. No parent feed-relay. I walked out just now to the shed. Peeped over
It is no picnic taking these pictures. Scott, who has been on paternity leave the last two weeks, has suddenly taken over a major role. Scaring off intruders! The babies are growing fast. Right now they sleep a lot, like most newborns, but are ready to eat whenever Scott or Zelda lands at their nest.
Once again, Zelda has not been reading What to Expect When You Are Expecting. The last egg was laid Easter Monday. I figured the first two birds would hatch May 3 (she laid two eggs in one day), the third May 4, and the last on May 5. This past weekend we went away for