Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

It is early morning on the last day of 2006 at Longleaf. The rain sounds like a waterfall outside my study window. Thunder rumbles and an occasional flash of lightning add just the right touch to the melancholic beauty of Abby Newton’s cd “Crossing to Scotland”. Buck and Maggie are sleeping. My coffee is hot …

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Buck unlocked the gate while I sat in the car enjoying the late afternoon sunlight’s interplay with the huge old live oak tree. Maggie was in the back seat, leaning forward, muscles straining to thrust her head as far out of window as possible, her breath ragged with excitement. Buck closed the gate behind us …

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This old longleaf pine was literally pulled apart by Hurricane Ivan’s winds. And yet it stands. Another  collided so violently with a nearby falling oak that a divot was scalloped out into the quick, exposing the tree’s heart. Walking over the cleared roads and firelines today, awed by the graphic images of death and rebirth, …

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BY FLORIDA PANHANDLE WINTER STANDARDS, Wednesday was cold. Stayed around 45 with a strong wind. The saving grace was bright sunshine. Early afternoon, I pulled on some old sweat pants, a thick pull-over fleece hoodie, and my battered zip-up water resistant boots and headed outdoors to play. The bird feeders were covered up in feisty …

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