Thursday, April 14, 2016

#Phenology: emergence and return

In Minnesota, where most sane creatures hibernate, hide, or at least take really long naps during the Winter, Spring is a season of emergence. Within the past few days several such creatures have reappeared. Some of these appearances I can confirm personally. One has been reported by sources usually "deemed reliable but not guaranteed."

single Scilla bloom
single Scilla bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

not Capistrano, but a swallow has returned
not Capistrano, but a swallow has returned
Photo by J. Harrington

Twice this week I've discovered ants on the kitchen counters. Actually, once I saw ants, plural. The other time it was ant, singular. In neither case did the scouts get to report back on their discoveries. If we see many more, and if the winds of change ever calm, I'll spray around the perimeter of the foundation. The swallows are back in the back yard. A single Scilla has bloomed and the pasque flowers seem past their prime. I don't know if I'll be able to collect seeds yet or not. Meanwhile, we could use some rain to dampen, quite literally, the fire danger. It would also make the emerging plants happy, I'm sure.

The reported emergence is of flocks(?), herds(?), schools(?) of food trucks that spent the cold, snowy months out of sight, presumably ensconced within garage walls or under covers. They have been noted to gather near the Capitol and, with fewer confirmations, may be starting to be seen in the vicinity of downtown Minneapolis.

pasque flowers past prime
pasque flowers past prime
Photo by J. Harrington

The Three Ants

By Kahlil Gibran

Three ants met on the nose of a man who was asleep in the sun.  And
after they had saluted one another, each according to the custom
of his tribe, they stood there conversing.

The first ant said, “These hills and plains are the most barren I
have known.  I have searched all day for a grain of some sort, and
there is none to be found.”

Said the second ant, “I too have found nothing, though I have
visited every nook and glade.  This is, I believe, what my people
call the soft, moving land where nothing grows.”

Then the third ant raised his head and said, “My friends, we are
standing now on the nose of the Supreme Ant, the mighty and infinite
Ant, whose body is so great that we cannot see it, whose shadow
is so vast that we cannot trace it, whose voice is so loud that we
cannot hear it; and He is omnipresent.”

When the third ant spoke thus the other ants looked at each other
and laughed.

At that moment the man moved and in his sleep raised his hand and
scratched his nose, and the three ants were crushed.


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