Friday, April 29, 2016

#phenology -- heading for real Spring?

Finally, today is sunny with blue skies. The rain that's fallen very consistently the past week or two should have done wonders for reducing Spring's grass fire dangers. I have no doubt it's also made the spring peepers and other breeding frogs quite happy, although the one pictured below seems to, like others of us, have had enough of the wet soggies and headed for higher ground. Presumably, at some point in the near future, MNDNR will decide it's wet enough around here to start issuing burning permits for Chisago County and points north. Then we'll be able to safely and legally reduce last year's brush pile to ashes. Meanwhile...

a spring peeper escaping Spring's wetness
a spring peeper escaping Spring's wetness
Photo by J. Harrington

Our local farmers market starts its Summer 2016 season this afternoon, so a stop may be in order. Then, tomorrow is the last day of National Poetry Month 2016 and Independent Bookstore Day. It's also opening day for the season at the St. Paul Farmers Market. I foresee a busy day ahead. Someday soon it may actually be warm enough to sit outside and read for awhile without the threat of frostbite or chilblains. Because this is Minnesota, I'm still recovering from a shock experienced, years ago, at finding several inches of snow in the bottom of my boat as we headed out for a midnight walleye opener on Mille Lacs early in mid-May. It's past time for us to be able to write an elegy to Winter weather.

DEAR SPRING


Will you please hurry with your preparations?
We are freezing up north as you procrastinate
Like a rich lady with too many gorgeous outfits
To choose from, spending hours in front of
A mirror, trying them on and unable to decide,

While we trudge to the mailbox through wind
And snow, extract our unwilling fingers
From a glove to check if there’s a letter
From you, or just a bitty postcard, saying:
I’m leaving Carolina today, hurrying your way
With my new wardrobe of flowers and birds.

The tease! I bet she starts and forgets one of her
Hand-painted silk fans and has to go back,
While we stamp our feet and wipe our noses here,
Worrying the wood for the stove is running out,
The snow on the roof will bring the house down.

— CHARLES SIMIC

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