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Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: The Sound of Music

Scarlet Tanager photo by Sherrie Duris

For years, The Sound of Music was my favorite movie. The scenery, the singing and that jaw dropping flyover of the Austrian Alps as the movie opens still gives me goose bumps.  In all of that grandeur, a small bird intones a few notes that somehow sets the stage for Julie Andrews to come whirling into view. Lately the Bent Twig Trail is also … [Read more]

Vanishing Acts: Fraser Fir

The Fraser Fir, Abies fraseri, has been in existence for over 12,000 years (called a glacial relict, because its existence dates back to the last glacial age), that is now found only in the highest regions of the southern Appalachians. As the climate warmed since the end of the last glaciation, fraser firs have been pushed higher into the mountains … [Read more]

Nature’s Example: Isaac’s Café Specials, May 16-20

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Nature sets a great example. This morning I watched a mother robin teaching a fledgling how to feed himself.  She had a fat, juicy worm in her beak and would dangle it just out of reach, then drop it onto the ground just a short distance away and repeat this action over and over until the he finally caught on to the technique.  I realized that … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: More Blooming Stories

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The saying that "you can't cross the same river twice" is also true for a woodland trail. Each hike on the Bent Twig Trail is an encounter with a changing landscape.  This spring  the visible changes came on like a slow rumble that tumbled into an avalanche of electric green in a matter of weeks. The trail has become almost buried beneath this  … [Read more]

Vanishing Acts: Wild Apple

Wild Apple Tree

The apples we know today: brilliant reds, greens, yellows with a hint of blush, were not always so aesthetically pleasing, nor was their taste delightful, sweet, and crisp. The first apples before domestication were actually small hard fruits resembling our common crabapple. Tasteless, unpalatable, and enjoyed only by wildlife, it was from the wild … [Read more]

Say hello to freshness at Isaac’s Café: Café Specials May 9-13, 2016

Lettuce Harvest 5-8-16

There are few things more rewarding than planting, harvesting, and then eating fresh vegetables that you grew yourself.  Unfortunately, many people don't have the time, the space, or the know-how to do that.  The Edible Garden at Bernheim, just 200 steps away from Isaac's Café, is already producing an abundant harvest.  Our garden steward, Cole … [Read more]