30 November 2012

words from Christmas creek

Sometimes we come to a place to think and when we arrive we cannot.  All there is to do is watch - wait, watch, and be silent.

I came to see the sun rise from the marsh.  Tide is low.  Best time of day to fish. The raccoon knows  - emerging from a canyon in the Spartina, it waddles noisily out to the edge of Christmas Creek.  As it approaches the water's lip, its spindly joints plunge into dark mud with deep sucking sounds, like a congested frog trying to croak.  With muddy paws it combs the shallows for nibblins, finds nothing, and decides to swim across the creek to an oyster bed.

28 November 2012

oysters, music, a family to live for

I love hanging out with my family. I know I'm a little biased, but I think they're some of the best folks around. Each Thanksgiving, after spending a week on Cumberland Island with all 28 of them, I come away with enough memories to last me another year. This year, notable ones included digging for clams and oysters off Burbank Point,

Thanks to my cousin Alden for this picture!

playing music with the family around a fire one evening, roasting fresh oysters, coming upon a bald eagle walking on the beach, spending time with the residents from the south end of the island (and making more music with them), hiking among huge twisted live oaks and scratchy palmettos and mushy sand dunes, and hanging out with the newest member of the family, a wide-eyed two-month old boy.

22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's not fig season anymore, but this is what the fig trees look like right now. After the first frost, they drop most of their leaves and remain dormant until spring. These trees are on Crabtree Farms, a nonprofit educational farm in Chattanooga.  There's still a bit of green fruit on the tops of some branches. Pretty, huh?

16 November 2012

Undulus asperatus

Okay, cloud nerds, it's been a while since I've talked about the great gig in the sky, but I absolutely had to show you this. I was driving through the Atlanta suburbs Wednesday afternoon when I noticed that the sky had this eerie, underwater look to it. I pulled off and took a few photos from a hill beside a parking lot. And got really excited.

08 November 2012

Why Being 25.4 Years Old is a Milestone in the USA

 It wasn't a special day. In fact, I don't even remember it. According to a rough calculation, it probably happened around September 23rd. On that day, I passed the mean age of a U.S. woman at the time of her first birth.

05 November 2012

A new story

Shannon Atwell and her family of four boys moved from a nice farm in Missouri to a cramped skid shack beside an oil rig in North Dakota.  They moved to be with their father, Jesse, who works in the oilfield. With four young boys and a fifth due in January, she told me about what it's like to raise her young children in a 12 X 56 foot house with tanker trucks wheeling through her front yard every day. The story airs on Prairie Public Broadcasting today.

UPDATE - This story was picked up by Marketplace today! (Tuesday, December 5th) It will air on this afternoon's show.

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