“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?
Notes from Candice Ransom
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
It rained for three days and three nights. Epic rains. Biblical. If I wasn’t a teetotaler, I would have downed tumblers of gin. But at least I was indoors where it was dry. Zelda had to incubate those four eggs. My husband set up a spotting scope for me to watch the nest. I’d look
After dragging her tail feathers for about a week, Zelda finally got ahead of me. Saturday she had two eggs (one more than I guessed). Easter Sunday I watched her sit on the nest with a look of concentration. It wasn’t mid-morning like the book said, but about 8:15. (If you’ve been up since dawn
After last Tuesday’s day-long downpour, I didn’t see Scott and Zelda all day Wednesday. Or Thursday. After the rain it turned cold. Too cold to lay eggs. I checked the nest—it seemed fine. But where were they? They’d left. I was sure of it. Once, song sparrows nested in our front-door wreath. The female laid
April 14: As soon as it was daylight, the robins were working on the nest. Today they were cooking with gas, no add a bunch of grass and then take the rest of the day off. They took turns flying straight to the window box. Normally the female does the actual building, but sometimes the
I walked outside to the glorious orchestra of birdsong and budding trees (yes, they sing too). Two male robins got into a fight, a swirling dance of beating wings and yellow beaks. The female robin—my nest-builder—flew in low and began tugging at the dead grass. Her look clearly said, Take it somewhere else, boys. I’ve