Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mud season

This past week there have been quite a few purple finches at the feeders. They were here in numbers about the same time last year. Passing through on their way north to breed or arriving here for breeding season?

female purple finches at feeder
female purple finches at feeder    © harrington

There was a report yesterday on Twitter of open water on the St. Croix River. My reaction is similar to the old "one swallow doesn't make a spring. The picture and the news are encouraging but not yet exciting. I've once again hit my late Winter, early Spring grumpiness mode of "I want it to be warm, NOW!" (Good luck to me.) I suppose my limited ability to manage my emotions means I didn't take good enough notes when Spock was on the screen in Star Trek (the TV series, not the upstart movies).

This morning we had a very rare visitor to the front yard. I've seen pheasants coming and going in the corn fields and marshes down the road. This is the first time I recall seeing one in or immediately near our property. (The photo was taken through a window, storm window and screen, which explains the muted colors.) Shortly after his picture was taken, this guy flew either onto or over the roof of the house.

male ring necked pheasant
male ring necked pheasant   © harrington

Mud Season
Jane Kenyon
Here in purgatory bare ground
is visible, except in shady places
where snow prevails.
Still, each day sees
the restoration of another animal:
a sparrow, just now a sleepy wasp;
and, at twilight, the skunk
pokes out of the den,
anxious for mates and meals…
On the floor of the woodshed
the coldest imaginable ooze,
and soon the first shoots
of asparagus will rise,
the fingers of Lazarus…
Earth’s open wounds – where the plow
gouged the ground last November-
must be smoothed; some sown
with seed, and all forgotten.
Now the nuthatch spurns the suet,
resuming its diet of flies, and the mesh
bag, limp and greasy, might be taken
Beside the porch step
the crocus prepares an exultation
of purple, but for the moment
holds its tongue…
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.