Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Measures of Spring

When you were a youngster, did you make leaf or popsicle stick rafts and watch them float down the gutter or ditch. This morning I decided to try a new (for me) Spring game. I'm desperate to hear the sound of running water. I suspect it will be awhile before I get to do that. As a substitute, this morning I took the picture below. It shows a snow bank near the front door. The bottom of the bird feeder on the left is about 9 1/2 inches above the bank. The pine cone bell on the right is about half buried. At the beginning of each week, until the snow is gone, I'll take another picture and another measurement. The shrinking of the melting snow bank should help us track the arrival of Spring.

March 4, 2014: 91/2 inch gap under the feeder
March 4, 2014: 91/2 inch gap under the feeder  © harrington

The frost-covered windows are slowly changing from frost crystals to drops of moisture. That'll be something else to track Spring's approach. The snow drifts in the back yard will melt and grow the "wet spot" where the seasonal pond lives. Snow melt and ice melt will free the waters in the pond up the road. I don't want to get too hopeful, but we Minnesotans may, by June or July, get back to driving on paved surfaces instead of rutted snow pack. There's just so many things to look forward to. I may even get to see snow fleas (springtails) again this year. Robert Bly knows how precious Spring awakening is in the northland.

snow fleas (look like pepper flakes)
snow fleas (look like pepper flakes)      © harrington

Waking from Sleep

By Robert Bly 

Inside the veins there are navies setting forth,   
Tiny explosions at the waterlines,
And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.

It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.
Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full
Of stiff dogs, and hands that clumsily held heavy books.

Now we wake, and rise from bed, and eat breakfast!   
Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood,
Mist, and masts rising, the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.

Now we sing, and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.   
Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;   
We know that our master has left us for the day.

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