Monday, April 27, 2015

Ephemera

Would Minnesotans enjoy days like today as much as we do if such days weren't as rare as they are? We can see, hear, smell and almost taste the earth and all its residents coming alive. Maples are blushing with red flowers. Willow weeps are bumblebee yellow and poplar leaves, chartreuse. It seemed like a wonderful day to see if I could, first, find the St. Croix Savannah Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) and then look for the pasqueflowers rumored to be blooming there. The good news is I did find the SNA. The bad news is my streak of not finding pasqueflowers to photograph continues. I am, if nothing else, consistent. I was also persistent stubborn enough in my search to hike up a steep hill to the peak of the SNA. From the top I could see that most of the prairie was beneath me and had been hidden by the hill's shoulder. I could have spared myself the climb if I had simply followed the path not taken around the hill.

I had more success, by a little, yesterday. One, though only one, of the marsh marigolds was blooming. The others look as though they're ready to burst their buds any moment, but they hadn't yet. Here, take a look for yourself.

one marsh marigold in bloom
one marsh marigold in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

many marsh marigolds ready to bloom
many marsh marigolds ready to bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

I'm not sure whether the difference in blooming times between William O'Brien, 25 miles or so south of here, and the wetland out back is typical this year or if our spastic weather has something to do with it this Spring only. It has been fun trying to figure it out, for what it's worth. (Thank you, Buffalo Springfield.) The dandelions around Stillwater have turned some front yards more bright yellow than green. I suppose if pasqueflowers were as common as dandelions, I wouldn't be as persistent at trying to get some good photos of them, just as if I lived in San Diego, I would be more inclined to take a day like today, a week like this week is supposed to be, for granted. If we're constantly surrounded by pleasure and beauty, don't we tend to notice it less, to take it in stride? Isn't that something to watch out for? There are too many in Nepal, and more to come, I fear, who will never again get a chance to enjoy what passes for Spring in the high mountains. Let's hold a prayer in our hearts for those living and those already gone ahead of us.

Red Balloon Rising

By Laurel Blossom 
I tied it to your wrist
With a pretty pink bow, torn off
By the first little tug of wind.
I’m sorry.

I jumped to catch it, but not soon enough.
It darted away.

It still looked large and almost within reach.
Like a heart.

Watch, I said.
You squinted your little eyes.

The balloon looked happy, waving
Good-bye.

The sky is very high today, I said.
Red went black, a polka dot,

Then not. We watched it,
Even though we couldn’t

Spot it anymore at all.
Even after that.


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