Notes from the Back Porch contains the ramblings and musings of writer, editor, gardener, and wise woman herbalist Eleanor K. Sommer.

From my back porch in north central Florida, I revel in the views and sounds of a uniquely diverse landscape including sandhill, mixed hardwoods wetland, and a lovely creek that empties into an important area watershed. I share this land with all the critters who live here, with the ghosts of Native Americans who lived here previously, and with my husband and our 108-pound, crazy yellow Lab-German shepherd mix, Max, who believes he still a puppy (think Marley!).

Our proximity to Paynes Prairie means we are privileged to have as part of our environment both resident and visitor sandhill cranes. I never tire of their distinctive call and always use their flybys as impetus to get away from the computer and stretch my legs while watching them in formation overhead as they fly to or from the prairie.