Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The mother of all seasons?

pre blood moon, pre eclipse moon
pre blood moon, pre eclipse moon   © harrington

Did you stay up late to see the blood moon eclipse? Did you wake up early to watch it? Have you seen the winter storm warnings for 4" to 8" of snow tomorrow? Are you ready for the plagues of frogs and locusts next week? Oh, wait, that last part is just the arrival of Spring and Summer around here. The winter storm warning is probably my fault. I made time yesterday to clean a couple of fly lines in anticipation of actually getting out trout fishing sometime soon. Let's see, last year we got our final snow storm around May 3. That's only a couple of weeks away. Sigh!

On a brighter note, shortly after we moved to "The Property," I put up a wood duck nesting box on one of the trees out back. I then promptly ignored it for a number of years (except for an annual cleanout). Lacking any preventive maintenance, it eventually gave up, fell down, and then apart. The same fate befell the bat house I had mounted in an oak tree close to the house (here comes the bright part). We now have, thanks to the daughter person's woodworking fiancee, a brand, shiny, new bat house installed where the wood duck box used to live.

newly installed bat house (front view)
newly installed bat house (front view)     © harrington

If we do end up with bats in the bat house, and swifts or swallows in the "purple martin" house (so much for truth in advertising), the indigenous dragon flies may have enough help to keep the local populations of mosquitoes, black and deer flies down to a tolerable level (that's if we ever do get to Summer, see "winter storm warning" up above). We'd much rather have bats, birds and bugs (rather than "bug spray") helping to control local nuisances since we're planning on adding bee hives this year or next and some of us are old enough to have read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring when it was first published. Just in case any bats (young or old) are reading this blog and looking for a nice Summer home, here's a side view of the handsome new bat house. It's big enough for an extended family but, as Heid Erdrich reminds us,   words, like Minnesota's seasons, can be fluid.

newly installed bat house (side view)
newly installed bat house (side view)     © harrington


Heid Erdrich


Offering: Words


Gichimookomaanima: speaks American, speaks the Long Knives' language

Mother, if you look it up, is source,
(fount and fountainhead—origin,
provenance and provenience,
root) and wellspring.
Near her in the dictionary you will find
we all spring mother-naked,
(bare, stripped, unclothed, undressed, and raw)
with nothing but mother-wit
(brains, brain-power, sense) our native wit
with which we someday might mother,
(nurse, care for, serve, and wait on)
if we don't first look it up and discover
the fullness of its meaning.

Such interesting language, this tongue,
(our diction, idiom, speech, and vernacular)
also sign language,
(gesture language)
and contact language,
which was English or Ojibwe,
either way; both spoke forward our mother country,
our motherland (see also fatherland,
our home, our homeland, our land)
called soil in English our mother tongue,
our native language that is not my Native language
not the mother language Ojibwe:
wellspring of many tongues, nurse, origin, and source.

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