WIZ Kids: Our Very Own Toad Hall by Val K.


€œLook, here’s Fezzika, € my mother said, bending down to point out the Woodhouse toad tucked under the garden stone. We had discovered the amphibian’s house a few days earlier, and I was fascinated by the placement choice. She had dug into the soil under a cornerstone edging the flowerbed beside the main path through the garden. The stone is flat, shaped a little like a boomerang, wide and bent in the middle, providing a convenient entrance and shelter. Continue reading “WIZ Kids: Our Very Own Toad Hall by Val K.”


Le Jardin 2010

About a week ago, I finally finished planting my garden.   I ran late (as usual) setting out some seedlings and all three attempts to start my typical heirloom tomato lineup from seed ran afoul of greens-craving kittens and rough winds.   So I bought hothouse starts, which as of this date are doing well, except for two Romas suffering attacks from tomato hornworms.   Last year, European paper wasps kept my tomatoes hornworm-free, but the harsh, snowbound winter appears to have killed off a lot of the fertilized queens.   I’m very sorry to say we haven’t anywhere near the European paper wasp population that we had last year.   The garden will no doubt suffer on account of this deficiency of wasps. Continue reading “Le Jardin 2010”

Na-na na-na na-na na-na-NAH! Batbox!

Late this past winter, my son decided to build a bat box for our summer bat visitors to nest in.   Bats, of course, are migratory creatures, flying south in late autumn for warmer climes in the tradition of many species of birds.   A few articles I’ve read lately assert that, given the extent and effects of global warming, some birds are electing to €œstay home € rather than migrate.   I don’t know if the same might happen with bats.   I suppose it could.

Anyway, my husband insisted that, rather than buying materials to build the box, my son act according to tradition himself and scavenge what he needed from around the house and yard €”you know, like my husband did when he was a youngster making stuff. Continue reading “Na-na na-na na-na na-na-NAH! Batbox!”

Guest post: Little windowsill of horrors, by Val

During fall of 2008, I was perusing a field guide of medicinal plants when a picture caught my eye. It was a small yellow leaf, round and stalked, with hairs rising from the top. On each hair was a small drop of glue. Continue reading “Guest post: Little windowsill of horrors, by Val”