The Frost Has Come: A Dancing Rabbit Update

The Frost Has Come: A Dancing Rabbit Update

All good things come to an end, I hear, and in my 15-plus years at Dancing Rabbit, it has so far held true that every warm season is sooner or later met with a first frost. I did see the forecast—patchy frost here the other morning—and I’ve seen the marginal impact on beans and sweet potatoes in the garden. The first definitive frost is expected tomorrow night. I anticipate climate change may shift our seasonal expectations over time and we may end up in zone 6a instead of 5b, but for this year we're seeing frost just a hair later…read more >
Seven Plump Piglets and Bioluminescent Fungi: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Seven Plump Piglets and Bioluminescent Fungi: A Dancing Rabbit Update

September rolled in quietly last week while my attention was elsewhere. Now I find myself halfway through the remaining few weeks of summer, finally enjoying as many tomatoes and dropping peaches as I care to eat. I’m appreciating these cooler days and nights, as well, even though they portend the waning of the season when such delights will eventually come to an end for the year. Ted here, to bring you the latest from here. This week at Dancing Rabbit bridged one big event and another; from the Singing Rabbit event we hosted here on Labor Day weekend to our…read more >
Buzzing Through a Busy Summer Week: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Buzzing Through a Busy Summer Week: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Summertime, and the livin’ is … hmm, not usually easy, only sometimes hard, but definitely full. Surprising, too, despite the ongoing droughty weather, the recent cool spell and nip of rain were enough to trigger the first, real flush of shiitakes on my mushroom logs this year, though I had to water them for a few days to bring them to full size. Some weeks are more stuffed than others, and the list of things to mention this week gives me plenty to tell you about. Ted here to offer the condensed version of our very, full week at Dancing…read more >
Fires, Visitors, Fun, and Trains: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Fires, Visitors, Fun, and Trains: A Dancing Rabbit Update

At last, perhaps, our trials of a lingering winter are coming to an end. Sara and I celebrated 15 years of living at Dancing Rabbit on the 16th, and this seems to be the lengthiest cold spring we can remember. Warm spells almost always start to show up in March, but from later February to mid-April this year we saw not a one. Cold weather hung around gratuitously like the proverbial guest that has overstayed its welcome. The arrival of milder weather this past week still feels tentative and slow-moving, as though the land doesn't believe it yet. Thankfully our…read more >
A Tree Ate My Tarp: A Dancing Rabbit Update

A Tree Ate My Tarp: A Dancing Rabbit Update

On the last day of February this past week, among the warmest we've experienced so far, Aurelia and I heard both peepers and woodcocks for the first time in the year, around dusk. The peepers were only active down in the bottom, distinct though pretty far off; but the woodcocks with their "peent!" calls and the twitchy, liquid chirp of their mating flights were all around us at the edges of the village in the lowering twilight. It is an evening I keep an ear out for every year around this time, and it seems to satisfy that part of…read more >
Food, Firewood, and Friendship: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Food, Firewood, and Friendship: A Dancing Rabbit Update

One of the pleasures of life for me here at Dancing Rabbit is that we have long focused on preserving the fruits (and leaves, etc.) of our seasonal harvests for the leaner times of year. Despite the ever-miraculous ability of birds and mammals to eke out a living through the cold months here in the mid-latitudes and above, I look out the window these days and know I would not be eating much if I had to rely on what was readily available. Ted here to bring you this week's news from northeast Missouri at the tail end of January.…read more >
Rolling into December: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Rolling into December: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Rolling into December in a warm spell here in northeast Missouri, we're working through the last of our tomatoes and peppers, picked green and slowly ripening indoors since first frost more than a month ago. They're nice to have, and Sara has put up several rounds of tasty roasted sweet peppers, but I notice that I don't have the same craving for them now as I did when they were fresh off the plants. On the other hand, the remaining fresh kale in the garden, and all the potatoes and other roots in the cellar, seem like just the thing.…read more >
The Approach of Fall: A Dancing Rabbit Update

The Approach of Fall: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Sara and I went out for a lovely walk on the land this morning, with early autumn growing all around us. We have not yet seen any frost, putting this year on the late end of typical (third in a row, by my reckoning). The odd sprig of New England aster or goldenrod and a few fleabane are still flowering, but I'm thinking my bees' final honey flow must be at an end now. Most of the osage balls have dropped, but black walnuts still fall intermittently from the adolescent tree outside our bedroom window in Ironweed courtyard. The raspberries…read more >