Category: Grounding

February Flowers

There is rain, sleet, and snow in the forecast this week. Let’s go to a warmer time and place. An Asian variety of crab apple in our rear woodland. These should be blooming again in a month or so. Black-eyed susans in the Memorial Garden. Crepe myrtle in August. A bee favorite. A variety of … read more


Hi River Roaders, It was quieter than normal at RRUUC earlier this week, allowing me to soak in the sights, sounds, and impacts from the falling sleet and snow. Sign on Whittier. Looking into the sun. Reflections on the spring in our Native Plant Garden. Our bell tower. The warmth of our springs. Winter Jasmine … read more

Just Hanging Out

Hi River Roaders, Those of you who are still stopping by RRUUC know that it’s not unusual to see my silver Subaru parked in the back. Maybe I’m working, maybe I’m sitting on one of the benches, just hanging out. That’s what I was doing last Thursday, around 5pm. I was sitting on the memorial … read more

Geology: What Lies Beneath RRUUC?

Hi River Roaders, This week we’ll take a deep dive into the rocks that are underneath our grounds. This blog was developed by Andrea Mangum, who also collaborated on the “Springs!” blog last year. It’s a great example of the “detective” work that is practiced by geologists. RRUUC (and virtually all of Montgomery County) is … read more

Early Winter Walk

Hi River Roaders, I was worrying how I was going to maintain a weekly blog through the winter months, but today’s walk though our grounds allowed me to appreciate the views you can only get in winter. I hope you enjoy. Spent flowers from our native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. Ajuga in moss by the … read more

Planning Your Native Plant Garden

Hi River Roaders, Following my blog three weeks ago on “Nature’s Best Hope,” a couple folks reached out to get advice on what natives they should plant. In this blog I share resources you can use to plan your native plant garden. The resources allow you to select plants that are native to our specific … read more

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice this year occurred at 5:02am on December 21. It is the instant in time when the North Pole is furthest from the sun. In our area, the sun was above the horizon for 9 and 1/2 hours. Our building is a kind of Stonehenge, where you can tell the time of year by … read more

Nature’s Best Hope

Hi River Roaders, Every now and then I read a book that sparks an “a-ha” moment that explains something I have always wondered about or that ties things together. In this week’s blog, I provide a mini-book report on just such a book (really two books) that helped me better understand the interdependent web of … read more


Hi River Roaders, This week’s blog is a collaboration with Andrea Mangum, a scientist with a geology/hydrology background. Andrea has spent a lot of time over the past year on invasive plant removal and native plantings in our native plant garden area. At the heart of RRUUC’s conservation area, natural springs flow year-round; providing life-giving … read more

Late Afternoon: Early December

Hi River Roaders, Most of the photos I’ve taken for this blog over the year were taken in early or mid-morning. This week for a change of pace I went around 3:00 on a sunny afternoon to experience the low-angle light from the west. Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) is probably the most common shrub in front … read more