Yesterday I (re)discovered that my legs aren't as durable and resilient as they were the last time I went looking for early Spring skunk cabbage. That's what 30 or 40 years can do to you if you have a desk job. I did, however, discover some skunk cabbage nearby, so all's well that ends well. Local red maples are bursting their buds. Moss is showing new growth. Several other plants I couldn't recognize are emerging wearing this year's greenery. Seeing many of the local residents who share our world return to growth from Winter dormancy is a Spring tonic for many of us who live in the North Country.
red maple buds bursting
moss with sporophytes
emerging skunk cabbages
Many of these early Spring signs can be found from urban parks in Minneapolis and St. Paul to areas where nature is much more dominant, such as the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. The fact that Spring in My Minnesota is such a chancy affair is all the more reason to celebrate it, although scheduling an annual Spring celebration in Minnesota requires lots of flexibility. On the other hand, each year National Poetry Month occurs throughout April. Maybe that's how we should schedule Minnesota's Spring Celebration, but make it two months long to also include May. I'm not sure I ever before thought of Spring as a two month long celebration. Silly me.
Amy Lowell's poem puts me in mind of Aldo Leopold's essay Thinking Like a Mountain. I'm much more inclined to believe we all need to realize and remember that mountains have secret opinions than I am to accept Lowell's view that Monadnock watches all unmoved.
Monadnock in Early Spring
Cloud-topped and splendid, dominating all
The little lesser hills which compass thee,
Thou standest, bright with April’s buoyancy,
Yet holding Winter in some shaded wall
Of stern, steep rock; and startled by the call
Of Spring, thy trees flush with expectancy
And cast a cloud of crimson, silently,
Above thy snowy crevices where fall
Pale shrivelled oak leaves, while the snow beneath
Melts at their phantom touch. Another year
Is quick with import. Such each year has been.
Unmoved thou watchest all, and all bequeath
Some jewel to thy diadem of power,
Thou pledge of greater majesty unseen.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.