Clark Hollow Ramblings

Clark Hollow Ramblings: The gift that keeps on giving 

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Nov. 13
In digging under his prize potato plant, Richard Brady was surprised to find some late-season potatoes.

Richard Brady says “amen” to elections being over and enjoys the last of the cress and other goodies from his garden.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Act local

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Oct. 30

Readers of this column know that I do not often write about political issues. Those same readers would be mistaken, however, if they thought that this results from my lack of conviction or opinion about the political world that buffets our every breath, from the courthouse in Washington, Va., to what passes for a central government...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: To a thoughtful person

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Oct. 23

The first thing Richard Brady needs to do in his column is thank someone. He does not know who this person is but is hoping they will read this and know that he appreciates their kindness.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Foddershocks on the Fodderstack

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Sept. 25
Two foddershocks stand in Richard Brady’s garden.

When the grandkids came to visit last week, Richard Brady put them to work — shucking some of the corn to create "foddershocks." What are foddershocks? Don't bother asking Wikipedia; just keep reading.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Fall is in the air

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Sept. 11

Fall is on the way, though there are still some summer doldrums to get through. At least the garden’s bountiful crop continues, writes Richard Brady in this week’s Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Be fruitful and multiply

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Sept. 4

The extremely fruitful fruits of Richard Brady's many years of gardening in this week's Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Aug. 28, 1964

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Aug. 28
Richard Brady and his bride on their wedding day 50 years ago.

Richard Brady and his bride celebrate a big deal — their 50th wedding anniversary — in this week’s Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Not a good day

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Aug. 7

To quote John Denver, “Some days are diamonds and some days are stones.” Monday, Richard Brady discovered, was not to be a diamond.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Critters in the garden

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July 31

When Richard Brady built the fence around his raised bed vegetable garden, the first thing he was thinking about was keeping out the deer. Lately, however, he’s been invaded by raccoons and rabbits.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Another road trip to the north country

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July 3

You just have to love a country that, when you go in a restaurant and order a sandwich or burger with fries, the waitress always asks, “Do you want gravy on those fries?”
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: ‘Development’ of the county seat

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June 12
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Like many, Richard Brady read the article in the Washington Post on Sunday about the big doings in Washington, and doesn’t have much to say — as long as it stays within the town limits.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Not what they seem

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June 5

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a tendency to look on the dark side when something happens. It might be a part of the old rule: Expect the worst, hope for the best. Such was the case when I heard a rumbling coming from my air conditioning unit.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: An interesting spring

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May 29
The Colorado potato beetle.

This has been a pretty interesting spring, at least for Richard Brady. Seems like the morels and asparagus were a little late, but they are both catching up, and they sure are tasty. Fortunately, so is the rest of the garden.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: A rough season 

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April 24

It seems that the people who say the 17-year cicadas don’t hurt anything need to rethink that position, as they, along with Mother Nature, combined to destroy most of Richard Brady’s fruit trees.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Here we go, again

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April 17

Just like it did two years ago, a late season frost threatens to disrupt Richard Brady’s best-laid garden plans in this week’s Clark Hollow Ramblings.
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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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