Category: Grounding

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


A tradition/ritual in our family is to share “thankfuls” when we sit down to eat dinner together. They can vary from something special that happened that day or a more general statement. A default for our boys is to say that they are thankful for Stormy, our dog. This week I’m sharing thankfuls from the … read more

Get ‘Em While They’re Green

Hi River Roaders, A change of pace this week, focusing on some non-native invasive plants on our grounds (and throughout the DC area) that are clearly visible right now. The next several weeks are the best time to identify and remove these plants, as most remain green longer than our native vegetation, allowing a gardener … read more

Saturday Morning, November 7

The morning of November 7 was glorious, with a clear blue sky and leaves at their peak fall glory. The morning was full of optimism and anticipation of even brighter days ahead. I was lucky to be at RRUUC then and to be able to share these images. Our new path. Tower and American beech. … read more


Hi River Roaders, Today, Wednesday November 4 is a beautiful, sunny day. I’m going to take walk, find a nice place to sit among the leaves, and breathe in the fall air. Sitting near our Memorial Garden fountain, listening to its patter, is soothing. The seeds from the many White Snake root on our grounds … read more


Hi River Roaders, Earlier this week there were several foggy mornings that transitioned to brilliant sunshine in the afternoon. Nature is like that…. Our new path. Spiderwebs on juniper. Our paw paw grove. The memorial stone. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) in bloom! Spice bush leaves in a pool in the first spring. The exit driveway. … read more

The Peace of Wild Things

I first heard Wendell Berry’s poem, The Peace of Wild Things, performed by the River Road Choir. It has special meaning for me in today’s chaotic times. …I come into the peace of wild thingswho do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… This week we’ll look back on some of the wild things … read more


Hi River Roaders, We’re a week or two away from peak fall foliage in Montgomery County, but there are a number of trees/vines that are already turning, and they stand out among the green. Can you feel the change in the wind? The deep crimson of our native Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) stands our along … read more

October Surprise

Hi River Roaders, Every month our grounds provides surprises and wonders. Here are some October surprises. I was surprised this year to find several blooming Obedient plants (Physostegia virginiana) in our rear grounds. I expect they came in with some other transplants and did well because it was so wet this year. I was very … read more

Seeds of Renewal

Hi River Roaders, Every seed can provide the possibility of renewal. Seeds come in different shapes, sizes, textures, tastes, and colors. Let’s look at a variety of seeds on our grounds that are coming into their prime this week. The Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is one of our deciduous holly trees that likes the damp areas … read more