Friday, March 27, 2015

The sweetness of Spring

It's Friday, late in March. The sun is shining. The wind has stopped blowing, at least for now. Warmer temperatures are in the forecast, although that part's easy since this morning's low around here was 16F. The frost crystals sparkled beautifully in this morning's flashlight beam when I walked SiSi. Yesterday's open waters that refroze over night should be open again soon. The snow that fell earlier in the week is gone. The Department of Natural Resources has officially declared "ice out" at some metro area lakes. Song birds, raptors and waterfowl are flocking in. The Minnesota legislature is on spring break for almost two weeks. We just learned that we're due a refund on both our federal and state taxes. This may be about as good as it gets at this time of year.

I have a small favor to ask. Can any of you help me identify the reddish-brown plants growing around the trunks of the tamaracks in the photo below? I was too busy being enchanted by the overall effect and foolishly neglected to take any closeups or grab a small sample. A quick search on the internets has yielded nothing helpful. If I finally learn to be more attentive, and mindful, I may end up having to reveal my ignorance less often. But if I become more mindful, I probably won't be as troubled at having to reveal what I don't know. That sounds like a win-win.


Photo by J. Harrington

Many places are offering maple syruping demonstrations this weekend. I admit that until I read Braiding Sweetgrass, I hadn't thought about tapping and syruping as something that could be done in small quantities. We never did get around to identifying our maples. That's still something to be done before this time next year. Have a great weekend!

Cold Spring

By Lawrence Raab 

The last few gray sheets of snow are gone,   
winter’s scraps and leavings lowered   
to a common level. A sudden jolt
of weather pushed us outside, and now   
this larger world once again belongs to us.   
I stand at the edge of it, beside the house,   
listening to the stream we haven’t heard   
since fall, and I imagine one day thinking   
back to this hour and blaming myself
for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices   
having become the accomplished
facts of change, accepted
or forgotten. The woods are a mangle
of lines, yet delicate, yet precise,
when I take the time to look closely.
If I’m not happy it must be my own fault.   
At the edge of the lawn my wife
bends down to uncover a flower, then another.   
The first splurge of crocuses.
And for a moment the sweep and shudder   
of the wind seems indistinguishable   
from the steady furl of water
just beyond her.


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