Notes from Candice Ransom

Muskrat Love

  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

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Home: Not Always Where We Think It Is

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

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Robin Journal: May 9, 2014, Gone

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

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Robin Journal: May 5-7

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. 

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Robin Journal: May 1-5, 2014

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

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Robin Journal: April 24-May 1, 2014

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

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Robin Journal: April 20-23, 2014

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

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Robin Journal: April 16 – 20, 2014

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

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Robin Journal: April 14 and 15

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

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Robin Journal: April 13, 2014

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

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Robin Journal – April 12, 2012

I would never have noticed if I hadn’t been sitting in my husband’s chair at breakfast.  Early April sun poured over the table on my side and I couldn’t read.  (Reading and eating is one of my greatest pleasures.)   I happened to look up from my book, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert,

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When Our Stories Won’t Speak

Two years in a row, I’ve wandered through the same abandoned house in Luray, asking it to give up its story.  The front door was open, but inside the walls were tight-lipped.  Both trips, my photos came out smoke-grey and silent. This weekend I found another abandoned house.  I welcomed the opportunity to let my

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