08.30.11

They nourish the land as well as our lives.

One afternoon I walked into my house and there was a chicken in the kitchen. The side door had blown open, and Dark Beak had come inside, presumably to check on the spider population. She has a passion for spiders, and she knows what kind of housecleaners we are – it wasn’t the first time she’d been inside.

Margaret Knight

08.30.11

It is a little disconcerting how much sex ospreys have.

Suzan Bellincampi

08.01.09

As a medical herbalist, I teach people about the wild edible and medicinal plants growing near us, and one of the requests I get most is for poison ivy remedies. The three-leaved vine persists in Island woods, and many people succumb at some point to the itching welts caused by dermal contact with the plant’s oils. I sell a popular poison ivy remedy, but it’s very easy for the do-it-yourselfer to prepare a safe and effective family remedy, simply by harvesting wild plants.

Holly Bellebuono

05.01.08

One June day I arrived home to find a surprising message on my answering machine: “Hi, this is Luanne. I’m in Aquinnah and I have an orphan baby here. I’m looking for a sitter. It would mean giving him a bottle and loving him up. He’s pretty darn cute!” It was Luanne Johnson, Island skunk whisperer, who has been researching skunk habits and habitats since 2004. One of her study subjects – a mother – had just been killed by a dog, and since Luanne knew where the den was, she had gone to rescue the offspring.

Margaret Knight

04.01.08

Honeysweet, sticky, mysterious. Seductive. The stuff of poets, prophets, and pharaohs. Egyptian hieroglyphics depict apiarists collecting honey for cooking, cosmetics, and mixing into ointments. Legend has it that honey is the elixir that Cupid dips his arrow into before aiming keenly at the desired one’s heart. For most of us – love struck or otherwise – honey is the simple melting sweetness that swirls and dissolves into a steamy cup of tea.

Ali Berlow

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