Birdland is overcast and dry. Though some sparse grass shows green, patches of the yard seem to be pounded dust. I try to remember when we last had a soaking rain or blanketing snow, and I can’t. For the last several days I have not gotten out to close up the chicken coop before dark and alw…

Ursula has found her spot in the sun. The breeze blows lightly over her as she checks everything out. The kitchen door? No, still closed. She turns her head. Maybe something is happening with the garage door. No, still closed. When it opens, she will check the new cupboard where the two-legg…

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Just like that, the tawny wall of corn is gone. And just like that, our view to the woods is unobstructed. We can see the trees at the fence line behind our house. We can see Uncle David’s big rock to the west. The grass waterways on the morning and evening side of our house are visible agai…

Almost 12 years ago, a black Lab puppy came to live with us. With her short puppy snout and silky black pelt, she looked so much like a bear with a long tail that Dylan, our middle boy, named her Ursa Minor, Ursula for short.

I had just fed the dogs and was about to bring in the cat’s dish when a truck came down the lane. “Hush, Cullen,” I said. “It’s just Gayle.” Though why she’d come so early for our walk, I didn’t know. I still needed to get dressed and brush my hair. I would have liked to have a cup of coffee first.

NPR reports that camping is one of the least risky summer activities in the time of COVID-19, and luckily, backpacking in the Porkies has become our summer vacation for the past several years.

In Birdland, the lilies are beginning. Years ago, Michael surprised me for our anniversary with a modest circle of orange daylilies. They were really just ditch lilies that he dug up from the edge of our woods, but I treasure the image of him filling the bed of our little truck and then plan…

Kind-hearted volunteers will greet you if you're headed to Day 2 of this weekend's Society of Hooved Animals Rescue and Emergency (SHARE) fundraiser outside Dewey.

We’ve had rain piled on rain in Birdland. First, a thunderstorm came in the night, comforting in all its tympanic booming. We woke to a heavy drizzle, which left a wider-than-usual delta in the meadow behind the Benson timber, and on top of the usual flooding of grass waterways, we saw new c…

During the coronavirus pandemic, our pets can receive care, but it will be a different experience. The two ways Illinois veterinary clinics can offer care are through curbside service, and telemedicine consults.

A sudden snowstorm interrupted our apparent spring, and now, one day later, Birdland is sunny and crisp. Scattered remnants of yesterday’s sloppy snow lie in the yard, but I expect it will all melt by afternoon. The two little serama chicks in the basement brooder are growing bigger, tiny th…

Today, Birdland is blusterous but warmish, for March, anyway. The sun shines brightly, but the wind blows away any warmth before it can really soak in. Still, it’s hard to believe it’s only been two weeks since we drove up to the edge of a frozen Great Lake. Michael skied while I sat in a yu…

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