Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring's "soft" opening

At least where I am it hasn't started snowing, yet. Are you familiar with the phrase "soft opening?" I've concluded that in Minnesota, April is the soft opening for Spring, which has its grand opening here-abouts each year in May. Minnesotan's don't seem to get as excited about either turkey hunting or trout opener, each of which occurs in April, as they do about walleye (the state fish) opener in May. I don't think it's because of the proximity of walleye opener to Mother's Day but, then again, I'm not much of a walleye angler either. Twenty years ago or so, I trailered my boat up to Mille Lacs where a friend had a cabin. We were going to do the midnight opener routine. When we went out to the boat about 11:30 pm or 11:45 pm, there were several inches of fresh snow covering the bottom of the boat. I'm still recovering.

last year's newly planted forsythia
last year's newly planted forsythia
Photo by J. Harrington

The forsythia (above) that we planted last May seems to have made it through the Winter, but this Spring there are only a handfull of blossoms on a few of its branches. The lilac that we planted next to it is questionable. Deer may have browsed it into oblivion before we put a wire mesh guard over it. When (if?) the sun comes out again, I need to take a peek in our "wet spot" and see if the marsh marigold survived. Our back yard section of the Anoka Sand Plain is tough on transplants. With luck, and some hard work, the apple trees may have made it through their second Winter. When I checked a couple of weeks ago, it was too early to see any signs of life or leaves.

freshly planted marsh marigold
freshly planted marsh marigold
Photo by J. Harrington

Later this week I'm going to head to a local Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) to check the status of the wildflower blooms this year. Last year they didn't show much before mid-May. It seems to me that, if there were as much uncertainty every year about when Christmas would arrive as there is about the arrival of Spring in our north country, we'd never survive the holidays.

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring Beauty)?
Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring Beauty)?
Photo by J. Harrington


National Poetry Month

Headlong

By Rae Armantrout 

As one
may be relieved
by the myriad
marigold faces
held aloft
beside the freeway — 
their articulation — 

and, too,
by the rush
of notes
following their own
likenesses
in these headlong
phrases

Relieved of what?
Relieved of what?


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