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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Beech Bark Disease.


The bark of beech is famously smooth, providing a space for people to carve their initials.  But most beech in the Northeast, and almost all in the Catskills, is infected with beech bark disease, an imported European pathogen to which the American species has no resistance.  The young trees grow fine, until they reach about […]

Wildcat Mountain Homestead.


Sunny Winter Days.


A pair of gorgeous, sunny winter days.  Cutting wood, as always.  I’ve been working on my Arabian Nights project, and making good progress.  Some sap dribbling out of the trees, but it quickly freezes – it’s still cold.  Happy days, after a period of darkness.

Nancy Llewellyn’s Eulogy for David Morgan.


The eulogy for David Morgan delivered by Nancy Llewellyn at his funeral on Saturday. I met David in 1995 when we were both just getting started in the peculiar and often delightful academic microclimate that I have come to call the Latinosphere, that is, the global community of classical enthusiasts who cultivate Latin by speaking […]

Vatican Hit By Lightning After Pope Resigns!


It’s really just too good.  God, I love being alive.

Abdicatio Summi Pontificis Latine.


Fratres carissimi Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum. Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam […]

First Tree Taps.


I tapped three maples yesterday.  I was planning on doing only one – so if I did something wrong which would become clear only with some hindsight I could correct my course early on – but it was so easy to do (taking about twenty seconds), that I did two more.  You drill a hole […]

In Paradisum David Morgan.


There is not much that can be done in the face of our certain mortality. Two nights ago I heard from friends that David Morgan, professor of French Literature at Furman University and for several years one of the teachers at Rusticatio Virginiana, lay on his deathbed and had probably only hours to live. I […]

Spirit of the Woods.


A barred owl (Strix varia) arrived today, and despite having to fly off a few times when I got a bit too close – and whenever I pulled out binoculars, which he apparently hates – he has come back again and again, and watched over my garden all day, as I cut wood, as I […]

Tapping, Tapping, Tapping.


Maple sap-tapping supplies arrived yesterday.  The weather isn’t quite warm enough, I don’t think, to drive the taps in – it hasn’t gotten above freezing during the day yet – but the time is near.  This gives me time to look around for my drill bits, which wandered off somewhere during the winter.  I was […]