Clark Hollow Ramblings

Clark Hollow Ramblings: Mother knows best

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April 3

Richard Brady supposes — and hopes — everyone has a warm place in their heart for their mother, or for the memories of her. The extent of the influence his mother had on him is hard to comprehend, even as these years later.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: This too shall pass

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March 20

Even those of us who like snow have probably gotten a belly full of it by now. Richard Brady has enjoyed it all his life, probably because of the enjoyable times he had as a kid when it snowed.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Pecking order 

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Feb. 13

The cold weather and ice has caused us to stay in more than we like. Perhaps you, too, are getting tired of crossword puzzles or reading “War and Peace” or whatever blows your shirttail up during the winter. Richard Brady has decided to try to write down the pecking order at the bird feeder.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: A little jag of wood

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Jan. 23

Richard Brady was out getting some wood for the stove when he remembered a time when such a thing was called a "jag." But is that the correct definition? Find out in this week's Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Winter times a’coming

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Dec. 12, 2013

Some time for reflection, brought on by the winter and holiday seasons, in this week's Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Natural observation 

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Nov. 28, 2013

Richard Brady has been doing a lot of sitting and watching the wonders of the natural world lately. It’s given him some time to reflect on all that nature provides and now he’d like to share some of the findings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: My companion 

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Nov. 7, 2013

The smell of wood smoke in the air trips some normally dormant trigger in Richard Brady's brain, reminding him of days (and hunts) gone by.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: The smell of fall

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Oct. 17, 2013

Last week Linda and Richard Brady were out doing some chores in anticipation of having to stay inside, as the weather man was calling for rain all day. The week before they had taken their grandson down to Lee’s Orchards so he could help pick a few apples off the trees and make applesauce.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Having a real good day

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Oct. 3, 2013

Some days just turn out so much better than others. Last Friday, thanks to the kindness of a stranger and some fond memories, was one of those days. Richard Brady hopes you have one soon.
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In the blynx of an eye 

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Sept. 19, 2013
The cat, likely neither a lynx nor blynx (part bobcat, part lynx), is probably a plain old bobcat, captured in rare plain sight by Pat Choate of Washington.

The first thing that caught Richard Brady’s eye in the News last week was the picture of a “lynx,” though he was sure it was a bobcat. Turns out, he was probably right.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings for Aug. 1

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Aug. 1, 2013

Richard Brady on why you ought to come to the Flint Hill Carnival this Friday and Saturday — and why everyone ought to have a special place. His is hard to beat.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: On the ground, sometimes it’s a bumpy ride

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July 11, 2013

Those of you who know Richard Brady fairly well know that I like to live pretty close to the ground. By that, I mean I like to do things for myself and be as self-sustaining as is reasonable in today’s world. But the ground can be hard, uneven, full of holes and lumps, and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: A late, menu-altering frost 

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June 6, 2013

It’s been a couple of weeks since the heavy frost at Richard Brady's house. His raised-bed garden took a major hit, as the frost showed no mercy on any bean that had its head above the ground. It was a hard frost.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Guess (and catch) of the day 

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May 16, 2013
Clark Hollow Ramblings: Guess (and catch) of the day 

It is often said that your first impression is what you ought to go with when you are trying to figure something out. It has been an interesting endeavor talking with and emailing readers about the mysterious “mud balls” that are appearing daily in yards and gardens. Now, Richard Brady thinks he knows what they are.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: The beauty of the spring garden

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May 9, 2013
Clark Hollow Ramblings: The beauty of the spring garden

"I think that I shall never see, a picture lovely as a tree," thought Richard Brady this week as he tended his spring garden and continued to ponder the mysterious "mud balls" popping up throughout the woods of Rappahannock County.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Mud balls, and more familiar sights

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April 25, 2013
Clark Hollow Ramblings: Mud balls, and more familiar sights

Last Sunday Richard Brady headed into the mountains to find a few morels to go with the asparagus that is beginning to emerge in his garden. He didn't find any mushrooms, but did happen upon some mysterious mud balls and would love to be told what they are.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: The end of leadership

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April 18, 2013

About a week ago Richard Brady was reading the big Sunday paper, and in the book section there appeared an article about a spate of new books chronicling the “end” of something -- if someone hasn't penned a book about the end of leadership, then they need to do so.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Identity theft, part two

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Feb. 7, 2013

Some of you may remember a piece Richard Brady wrote for this newspaper in 2006, a summary of events that had occurred since early 2001 when his identity was stolen. This article will serve as a reminder to be vigilant where your personal and financial information is concerned.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Fighting fire with fire

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Jan. 3, 2013
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Let’s just say politicians abolish “assault rifles” and large-capacity clips. Doing that will give them something to crow about; it will have no impact on the problem at hand.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: A-hunting we will go

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Nov. 29, 2012

I hope you have recovered from the big hurricane. We lost shingles and siding, and had water in the house in several places. I didn’t bother to turn the damage in on my insurance. I was able to fix it myself. I’ll save the insurance for the big one. We only lost power for about 24 hours, so, all...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Winding (and thumbs) down

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Oct. 25, 2012

The big frost we had here pretty much took the garden out. But, I have to tell you, the day before the frost, my bride picked green beans, lima beans, tomatoes, green peppers and lettuce, and this was well into October. Yes, we have been blessed with a very good garden this year. I finally got my sweet...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: It’s that time of year

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Sept. 20, 2012

I’m not sure what the calendar says, and you can’t pay much attention to the weatherman anymore, but my bones tell me it is fall. Every year it comes around, and every year it amazes me. I guess you could say it doesn’t take much to get me going. There is an urgency in the...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: A normal day

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Aug. 30, 2012

I think my favorite book is “The Forest,” by Stewart Edward White. In that book, the author has a chapter titled something like, “On Lying Awake at Night.” In it, he talks about the night when sleep just will not come. Or the night when, perhaps, you have slept for a short time, and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Old wives’ tales, current events 

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Aug. 2, 2012
Lee Morrison. Photo by Richard Brady.

I was talking with Levi Atkins the other day. I told Levi I had thought about his father that day. Years ago, his dad told me, “Don’t let the July rain fall on your onions.” For you non-gardeners he meant you should get your onions out of the ground and in storage before July....
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Safely home and the straight line windstorm

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July 12, 2012

I hope the derecho didn’t treat you too badly. It pushed my favorite apple tree over and blew off a shingle or two, but otherwise we fared pretty well. With a strong rope and the bucket on my tractor I have the apple tree standing up straight again. So far, the leaves haven’t wilted,...
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Eat local – out of your own garden

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June 14, 2012

I don’t think I’ll be able to look another strawberry in the eye. We have had strawberry shortcake, and strawberry ice cream, and strawberries on our cereal and have made strawberry preserves a couple of times. They are so good right out of the garden. But, this past week, I had something a whole lot better.  Linda...
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The report from Flint Hill

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May 17, 2012

I think the odds of us getting another frost that hurts anything are getting pretty low. The frost that killed our peas in the raised beds did more damage than I first thought to our fruit trees. The peach tree that was in full bloom has put out only three little green peaches, and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Time to raise taxes, really?

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April 12, 2012

Just for a moment, make an assumption with me. Let’s assume that the last five times that taxes have been raised, it was the correct decision. Now, let’s assume that the next five times the board of supervisors wants to raise your taxes, that is also the right decision. Ultimately, the question becomes, when...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: You just can’t count on nothing

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March 29, 2012

It’s getting really hard to know what you can count on. I have had a vegetable garden almost all my life, and Linda has, as well. We have heard, for as long as we can remember, when it comes to planting, what mom used to call, “your little early stuff,” which was, peas, radishes,...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Invasion of the Tree from Heaven

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March 8, 2012

When I was a kid growing up in Rappahannock, most folks had a big garden. We had a huge garden. It was way too big when it was time to pull weeds and hoe and chop and pick beans and dig potatoes. But it was a good thing, at least in retrospect. In our...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: I may be old and savage, but . . .

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Feb. 23, 2012
Two wild tom turkeys pass through woodland in autumn.  Photo courtesy Steve Maslowski / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maybe I should remember the wise words once told to me by my father: “Son, you should not try to teach a pig to sing. It will only frustrate you, and it wastes the pig’s time.”
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Hunting on Sunday

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Feb. 2, 2012

The question of hunting on Sunday has been around for a long time. I believe it is time to remove the state prohibition against hunting on Sunday.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: It ain’t so. It just ain’t so.

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Jan. 26, 2012
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I have been reading with some interest the issue of lead poisoning in our bald eagle population. First, I can’t tell you how glad I am that the bald eagles have taken up residency here, or returned here, whichever is the case. They are absolutely so majestic I am glad Ben Franklin didn’t get his way...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: We will miss you, old friend

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Jan. 19, 2012
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On Thursday night, January 12, 2012, Ronnie Poe, 79, of Amissville, went to be with his Lord and Savior. He was holding court, as he had for well over 40 years, at his weekly bluegrass jam in his garage and workshop behind his house, surrounded by those who loved and admired him.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: The spring of the blind hog

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April 28, 2011
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I am sorry to report that the news from WCORN is not the best. The Wild Critter Observation and Reporting Network reports that, for whatever reason, our friends, the red-shouldered hawks, have abandoned their nest in the big maple tree near the Fodderstack Road. Scientists who study nature will tell you that, sometimes, even...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Hawks and other neighbors

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April 7, 2011
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Down in the front of our yard, there is a little creek that cuts off one corner, and continues on under the Fodderstack Road. Around that creek, and near the fence with our neighbor, Mrs. Lee, there are several large maple trees. Two red-shouldered hawks have decided that those old maples would be a...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Mr. Clark’s rooster and Momma’s hen

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March 24, 2011
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I sometimes feel so fortunate to live here in Rappahannock that I just want to write a piece about how wonderful it really is, and then, I look back over what I have previously written. I find that, more or less, that is what most of my columns are about.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Memories of Christmases past

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Dec. 23, 2010
Photo taken Sunday, Feb. 7 near Flint Hill, Va. by Joyce Harman.

Christmas was special at our house. As the youngest in the family, my family probably did some things to keep it special for me. My dad worked on the roads and, I think, about the first of December, he started looking at cedar trees along the road, so he could bring just the right...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: The world as teacher

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Oct. 21, 2010

My wife and I were treated a week or so ago with the opportunity to babysit for a few hours with our granddaughter. Tana is two and a half now, and it is not always nursery rhymes and giggles and kisses for Meme and Poppa. Yes, even this angelic, adorable bundle of life and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: It will make a difference to this one

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Sept. 2, 2010
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In May of this year, I wrote an article about an Eastern snapping turtle that visited my wife’s flowerbed, dug a hole and laid a bunch of eggs in it. I had read on the Internet that it takes about 90 days for the eggs to hatch. I have been watching the spot where...
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