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Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: The Heart of Winter

beech bark

The Heart of  Winter  by Wren Smith The heart of winter beats beneath my frozen feet and beneath the crunching earth. It beats beneath my hearing, beneath my seeing.  The heart of winter beats in the sleeping wooly bears. In their curved coats of black and brown  down in crevices under the logs, like banned question marks. The heart … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Wood Ears


There’s nothing like coming in from the cold to a warm bowl of soup! For me this is especially true if the steaming broth belongs to bowl of hot and sour soup - one balanced with heat and tang and chock-full of wood ear mushrooms! I was away from Bernheim when we received a lovely light layer of snow on Sunday. However, the Bent Twig Trail … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Listening to Alternative Music

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Silence is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of hiking in wild places. But finding moments where silence occupies, or at least quiets the everyday cacophony of our lives can be challenging.  During this week’s hike of the Bent Twig Trail I found a few quiet moments as I perched on a log in a small patch of sunshine.  I sat as still as … [Read more]

Isaac’s Café Specials – January 4-8, 2016

1-4-16 Special

Josephine Nuese, author of “The Country Garden,” said, “ Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.”  This is so true!  Every time I meet with Cole Alexander, Bernheim’s Edible Garden steward to plan and, yes, DREAM of what will be … [Read more]

A Warm December: What Does it Mean for Spring?

Autumnalis Cherry, December 30, 2015

Many of you may have noticed the spring like landscape at Bernheim or in your neighborhood in the last few weeks. The early blooms are not that harmful to our plants overall. Many of our trees and shrubs are still dormant and our return to colder temperatures this week should keep further blooms from coming on too early. We may see some diminished … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Woodland Ornaments

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Walks in the woods can be gifts that keep on giving.  I often find clues in one season that help me make discoveries in another. For instance, just a few months ago I came across this low growing vine with heart shaped leaves, most of which were arranged in several whorls of three around the plant's stem. The small greenish yellow flowers were not … [Read more]