Author Archives: John S. Quarterman

Planting fruit trees 2021-03-30

Citrus: lemon, satsuma, blood orange, and grapefruit, two of each.

[Gretchen planting fruit trees]
Gretchen planting fruit trees

Better than the invasive chinaberry trees that used to be there. Getting rid of those took a bulldozer and years of mowing and harrowing. Continue reading

Gretchen relaxing with 50-pound bag of fertilizer 2021-03-22

To relax after her second virus shot, Gretchen hoisted 50-pound bags of fertilizer while we were planting red corn.

[A few hours after second virus shot]
A few hours after second virus shot

Seems like a fair distribution of labor. After all, I drive the tractor.

Today she got five more bags, and loaded them in the truck herself.

-jsq

Nellie discovers a gopher 2021-03-10

I figured she must have discovered a nest of venomous serpents. Nope, Nervous Nellie was barking up a storm over a gopher tortoise.

[Gopher, Nellie, Honeybun, Yellow Dog]
Gopher, Nellie, Honeybun, Yellow Dog

That threatened species Gopherus polyphemus was actually somewhat threatened, since Nellie was trying to gnaw on her shell. Continue reading

Pine pollen and yellow jessamine 2021-03-06

Spring has sprung, with yellow jessamine in full bloom, and the pines producing plenty of pollen.

[Yellow jessamine, loblolly, longleaf]
Yellow jessamine, loblolly, longleaf

It was 35 degrees this morning, but freezes seem to be over. Continue reading

Beaver Ponds, Yellow Dog, Gretchen and her Sycamore 2021-02-20

It’s good to get a little exercise.

[Log, Fungus, Yellow Dog, Sycamore]
Log, Fungus, Yellow Dog, Sycamore

Gretchen likes heaving logs under the red maples.

[Gretchen and her log]
Gretchen and her log

Beaver Pond

Birds and dogs.

[Gretchen and a beaver pond]
Gretchen and a beaver pond

Fungus

We could get it down with a ladder.

[Gretchen and the lion's mane]
Gretchen and the lion’s mane

But we left it there to grow again.

This moss grows all the time.

Woods

In her habitat.

[Gretchen in the woods with vines]
Gretchen in the woods with vines

Yellow Woods Dog

Yellow Dog knows all the woods paths.

[This way?]
This way?

Upper Pond

This is also a beaver pond now, only larger than the others.

[Quite full]
Quite full

Yellow Pond Dog

Dogs like mud.

[Yellow Dog in the pond]
Yellow Dog in the pond

Sycamore

That tree was knee-high when we transplanted it.

[Gretchen and her Sycamore]
Gretchen and her Sycamore

-jsq

Porch Dogs guarding the Swamp Throne

Dogs at work.

[Porch Dogs guarding the Swamp Throne]
Porch Dogs guarding the Swamp Throne

Probably I shouldn’t assume everybody recognizes this sort of environment. This is a shallow cypress swamp, with mostly cypress and blackgum trees, with a few loblolly pines, plus slash and longleaf pines and oaks around it. That’s actually different from a pocosin swamp, which has mostly smaller shrubs. Both are fairly common in the U.S. southeastern coastal plain.

This cypress swamp used to be full most of the year, forty or fifty years ago. Nowadays it’s dry most of the year. We’ve been having rain every few days for a week or more, so finally it’s almost full.

When that happens, we like to put kayaks in and boat around. Which is interesting due to all the cypress logs to navigate past.

Those are two of my dogs. They live here, in several hundred acres of land my grandfather bought in 1921. They are working dogs, protecting us from snakes and catching rodents. They don’t attack other wildlife (well, except raccoons), because we teach them not to. They do like to run fast, especially in water.

About the swamp throne, only the initiated know, and Tom H. Tom H Johnson Jr ain’t tellin’.

More rain coming.

[Still not quite full]
Still not quite full

More pictures: Continue reading