Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Wood ducks a- fledging

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Seeing wood duck babies dropping from the sky is mostly a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
When we walked out to the end of the Flat Creek Nature Center boardwalk recently they could not yet have left the nest, or we’d have heard them. But when we sauntered back toward the cart path, a mama wood duck fluttered noisily away without rising from the marsh. “That looks like a diversionary move,” I exclaimed. “She has chicks nearby,” and sure enough, we began hearing the unmistakable shrill peep-peep-peep of baby ducks. Read More»

A spider’s relative

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She lives at the corner of our house where the glass room meets the screened porch, sheltered by the eaves. There she rests, head down and legs stretched languidly while we scurry about our busy lives inside.

Several times a day we stop to admire her plump black-gold-white body and the racing stripes on graceful legs. She seldom leaves the soft mat in the center of her web, except to pick up some (formerly) fast food for her supper. Read More»

The Next Boat Comes Home

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So. We’d found and agreed upon The Next Boat. A Nimble Nomad, she’s a pretty little river trawler, needing only 18 inches of water under her keel and able to run up on a sandy beach.

A 45 HP Honda outboard powers her so quietly you can carry on normal conversation in the cabin.

Which is where the helm is. No more frying in the sun in an open stern, we’ll do our boating in the shade. Or out of the rain. A companionway (nautical for “door”) both fore and aft enables captain or crew to step out into deep cockpits from which to handle lines safely. Read More»

Stranded in Kentucky

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“Years from now, when we retell this story to our great-grandchildren, promise me you won’t tell people I hid in the bathroom, would you?”
“Only if you promise not to make a column out of our stupidity. This is the dumbest thing I’ve done in 60 years of boating.”

What? Me, tell the world we let ourselves get blown into water too shallow to float our boat, and spent days waiting to be rescued? And all for lunch in a nice restaurant? Never. Read More»

The Truth about Abbie

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Among a host of things we need to get done before time runs out, one is to settle the question: Should we get a new dog? The last dog we had was an Irish Setter, and we had to put her down in the fall of 1993.
We loved that dear old soul to distraction, which helped us tolerate the shedding. As a younger dog, there was just no stopping the fun. She made a joke of everything and visited the bases of certain trees and shrubs as though invisible messages were stacked one on another as we went. Read More»

Still looking for Daddy

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When I opened a letter from a cousin last week, out dropped a photocopy of a hideously scarred old photograph. It was a formal studio portrait, dated December 1892, of a woman and a man of indeterminate age, with an infant and a small boy. I sat for a long time looking at that dim picture. It was the first time I had ever laid eyes on a likeness of my grandparents.

Haven’t brought up my genealogical data lately; I get so wrapped up in it that nothing else happens when “Mom’s doing genealogy stuff.”
My daddy’s family was what we’d call today dysfunctional. Read More»

Luna Moth Mysteries

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They looked like leaves, two lime-green leaves in a jumble, caught on the outside of the screenporch that allows us to have doors open at night. When I looked at them more intently, they transformed from tangled leaves to two large moths with wings tightly folded together.

The large insects appeared to be still in the process of extending their wings and legs, inflating them from weeks in pupae, making ready to take to the air.

I needed to start our dinner, but I decided to keep watch over the moths lest a bird or other predator decided to take them out for dinner. Read More»

Fashionata, Part 2

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A few days after the makeup session, I met Wendy, Joanne, and a couple of other women at now-defunct Banker‘s Note. We were each to pick out a casual and a dressy outfit for the church women‘s fashion show.

Joanne, a stunning woman of a certain age (meaning near mine), snatched two dresses off the racks, emerged a moment later wearing one, said “What do you think?“ to the rest of us. She did the same thing with the other outfit, and was done.

In five minutes, she was done. And she looked gorgeous in both choices. Read More»

Fashionista, Part 1

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Genetic engineering is in the news again. I say, bring it on.

When they passed out the genes that give women a sense of style, skill with a curling iron, artistry with the paint pots, I drew blanks. Genetic engineering might be the answer.

A church committee chairperson called and invited me to participate in a church fashion show. I agreed, thinking I might give other glamour-challenged women hope. Read More»

Fashionista, Part 1

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Genetic engineering is in the news again. I say, bring it on.

When they passed out the genes that give women a sense of style, skill with a curling iron, artistry with the paint pots, I drew blanks. Genetic engineering might be the answer.

A church committee chairperson called and invited me to participate in a church fashion show. I agreed, thinking I might give other glamour-challenged women hope. Read More»

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