1. Thyme and Time (May 14, 2020)
  2. Foliage and Interim (April 24, 2020)
  3. Bulbs and Bytes (April 20, 2020)
  4. Clear Air and Leitmotifs (April 13, 2020)
  5. Omission and Commission (April 7, 2020)
  6. Emerging and Excess (April 6, 2020)
  7. Empty Skies and Empty Wallets (April 3, 2020)
  8. The First Note (April 1, 2020)

on our country, and the countryside, from rural Rappahannock County, Virginia

Dick Clarke spent 30 years in the U.S. Government, including as Special Advisor to the President on terrorism and cyber security. Since having left government in 2003, he has authored or co-authored nine books, including the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Against All Enemies. From reflections on the past, musings about the present, and hopes for the future, “Notes from the Rapp” is written from his home in Rappahannock County, Virginia.


Thyme and Time

In a normal year…” So many conversations begin with or include that phrase. In a normal year here in Rappahannock County we would wait patiently until May Day to place our herbs in the ground.  But, of course, this is in many ways a most abnormal year.  [Read more]

Foliage and Interim

The variety of tree species in Rappahannock County is an aspect of its rural beauty that I find so rewarding. Poplar, maple, oak, pine, magnolia, cherry, dogwood, locust, ash, redbud and willow dot the county. Some of us have added non-native varietals, such as the myriad types of Japanese maple. Indeed, the largest source of Japanese maples east of the Mississippi is hidden away down a dirt road not far from here. [Read more]

Bulbs and Bytes

Perhaps I have never paid as much attention to them before, but I do believe the Spring flowers in Rappahannock this year were unusually beautiful. Or maybe it was just that any sign of color, beauty, or promise seemed more needed and more welcome during this period of the plague. The tulips around my house were magnificent and remarkably resistant to deer (or more likely the deer were deterred by the obvious and more consistent human presence in the area). For several weeks I was able to harvest new tulips, varied by colors and mild scents, for dining table bouquets. Mixed with a sprig of forsythia, redbud, or dogwood, they brought the glory of the outdoors inside. [Read more]

Notes from the Rapp

For more by Richard Clarke, visit richardaclarke.net