Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood


Sometimes I wonder what it is that I find so interesting in this patch of ground.

And then, a 45 minute walk late on an April afternoon reminds me.

Asclepsia, also known as milkweed, is a poisonous beauty. I look for it each year. It tends to not wander or spread. I see it in two places at Longleaf, every year, without fail.

I went hunting in a boggy area this afternoon hoping to see a hot pink sundew. The lovely carnivore did not disappoint.

I noted baby blackjack oaks, growing up out of the sandy ground. They mature to shed big leaves all winter long. No acorns. Altogether an aggravating specie, and yet, I can’t help but admire their lovely leaves.

Buck took the ancient Case tractor to the woods this afternoon. He made some loopy trails for me to walk. They are rough with harsh woody chopped up vegetation. A girl has to be careful in basic jogging shoes. Buck assured me all snakes fled the area after feeling the big tractor’s vibration, and so I will don my worn trail boots and wander the area tomorrow.

I think about this forest, about incompetent planting forty years ago, about Hurricane Ivan, controlled burns out of control and the bodacious resilience of life.

My own tiny maladies loom even smaller and I am left to wonder about the seemingly spontaneous healing which my own body has experienced.  At least, it certainly feels that way today.

Did I mention the  darkly beautiful indigo buntings that have arrived to feast on the wheat, rye and oat seed heads? They perch on the top and then ride the tall stalks slowly all the way to the ground.

No denying beauty.

Still, life.




0 thoughts on “Still, Life

  1. ElizabethE says:

    I don’t know why but for some reason my blogroll doesn’t update your posts. So you languish there at the bottom and I think that you don’t have anything new and then I go on and see that you have a lot that’s new to read! So my apologies for not commenting and thank you, once again, for a gorgeous post, for sharing your walk and all that you see.


  2. Such beauty! Spring is definitely a time of rebirth. We’ve been having a few sunny days followed by a day of rain….the hills keep getting greener and greener after each rain! Now if the pollen count would just drop, I would be extremely happy….^-^
    Happy, too, that you are doing better.


  3. Florice says:

    Today is our first 100 degree day here in the Southwest desert. Just looking at all that green cools me off a bit. Thanks.


  4. SNAKES??? OMG. As much as I’d love to be able to share a cuppa with you now and then, I think I’ll stay in snake-free Alaska. Why, yesterday the temperature got all the way up to 53 degrees. Yes, Fahrenheit. Love your take on “still life.” What a difference a comma can make. Remiinds me of the joke re series commas: This book is dedicated to my parents, the Pope and Mother Teresa.


  5. Great photos and meditation. I love those mysterious oaks! They must serve some purpose, support some species, play some puzzling role having to do with root fungus or some such . . .


  6. Love the mosaic of photos and your observations. Everything has a place…even milkweed, which feeds monarch caterpillars. You and Buck are doing good work at Longleaf.
    Glad you’re feeling better.


  7. mary lou says:

    i WOULD LOVE TO SEE iNDIGO bUNTINGS. (Oops Caps on) HAve you seen your Tortoise lately?


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