Ever since I puckered up the courage to re-home my rooster Taz, I’ve been feeling guilty about the lack of stimulation in my chickens’ lives. He is off to a randy new free-range home that includes not only hens and other roosters with whom he might develop a bromance, but an eclectic assortment of other interesting […]

There’s a term in cinema for a technique in which the filmmaker changes the camera’s focus during a shot, drawing the viewer’s attention first to one part of the frame, then to another. Rack focus exploits the human desire for clarity and for certainty;   our eyes go unerringly to what we can most clearly […]

Every now and then in Grey’s Anatomy, the patient starts to fail during an intense surgery, and the doctors look intensely at each other between injecting this and cauterizing that and shocking the heart (“Clear!”) until the lead surgeon barks out an intense command for everyone to take their hands off — now — because […]

The two cherry tomato plants that have been growing in deck containers all summer are escaping their cages, the spicy boughs groaning under their own weight.   The ripening fruit, appearing now in gregarious clusters, is the putative point of planting, fertilizing and watering. Still, the harvest always feels a little sad to me — […]

August commences a subtle transition.  We harvest the bounty of summer gardens — the flavorful vegetables, the succulent fruit  —  and yet at the same time, sense a certain weariness.  So much energy spent,  all the plants and wild animals having bloomed or birthed and grown and yielded. Even the bees and the butterflies — fewer […]

Sometimes I pull an errant blade of grass and see it is not grass at all but corn, a kernel sprouting. And though the grass comes from seed, too, it does not touch me like this corn, which I hurry to replant, tucking the soil around the thready roots as a blanket, offering water, an […]

I have recently been tamed by a fox squirrel, or maybe I tamed her.  I can’t say which, only that it was her idea.  A few weeks ago, she approached the sliding glass door through which I sometimes toss peanuts for squirrels and jays.  And then stood on her hind legs and looked at me, […]