Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#phenology birds and bees and puddles and...

e e cummings describes this time of year as "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful." He's absolutely correct, especially when the weather is a cool and wet as ours has been and continues to be, with a few exceptions like last weekend. From what we've seen so far, we'll need more sun and warmth before we can expect to see any of the local snakes on or along the roads. One the other hand, a local patch of trillium has started to bloom and I don't have to be concerned about a boat full of snow for fishing opener this upcoming weekend (no boat).

local trillium in bloom
local trillium in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

A couple of years ago, scarlet tanagers had arrived by now. Last year I don't have any photos of them from before early June. I also don't recall if they actually had arrived and I didn't take any pictures (unlikely). Still no sign of orioles although several hatches of goslings can be seen around the local ponds. It's becoming clear to me that if I'm going to rely on the auto-dated photos, I need to become more consistent about when and why the camera gets put to use.

swallowtail butterfly
swallowtail butterfly
Photo by J. Harrington

A few days ago the picture of the swallowtail butterfly above was incidental to the "rogue violets" I set out to capture but was taken shortly after any butterflies appeared locally. Although they wouldn't hold still long enough and let me get close enough, I think we've had a few Common Sulphurs flitting about. All in all, though, I haven't been able to discern any real patterns over the past few years in arrivals, blooms, leaf-out or weather, except in the most general way plus or minus a couple of weeks here or there. Meanwhile, I'm watching a downy woodpecker at the oriole feeder and a blue jay lose an argument to a female cardinal about who gets to go first at the sunflower feeder.

[in Just-]

By E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and

         the

                  goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee


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