Friday, May 27, 2016

You look vetching in bloom #phenology

In a few hours, it'll be the start of this year's Memorial Day Weekend. I hope yours is a source of joy and wonderful memories for future years. We've limited plans although we may look into a brush pile bonfire if MNDNR is issuing permits.

whitetail doe in the "back yard"
whitetail doe in the "back yard"
Photo by J. Harrington

Yesterday, we watched a doe, no fawns, wander through the back yard and head straight for where I had just planted butterfly-weed and whorled milkweed. Now, I can't be sure that's precisely what she was hoping to nibble on, but I also believe in precautionary measures. From the deck, we yelled at her, several times, before she decided to raise a flag and take three or four bounds to the edge of the woods. Once inside the trees, she slowed to a dignified walk and picked her way to quieter quarters. Then I took the deer repellent sprayer from the garage and sprayed the entire area where I had planted our "pollinator garden." Of course, it then rained last night and today, so we'll reapply more repellent when things dry out a little.

hairy vetch in bloom
hairy vetch in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

While spraying, I saw this year's first hint of purple blossoms from the hairy vetch. (Maybe that's what the doe was headed for, maybe not.) Still no signs of orioles or tanagers this year, but the tree frogs have been sounding off gleefully with the wet weather we've had this week and ruby-throated hummingbirds continue to visit the "oriole" feeder. I'm going to enjoy the flora and fauna we do have, instead of fretting about those missing. A practice I can stand to apply to other parts of life too.

XII. The Oriole's Secret.

To hear an oriole sing
May be a common thing,
Or only a divine.

It is not of the bird
Who sings the same, unheard,
As unto crowd.

The fashion of the ear
Attireth that it hear
In dun or fair.

So whether it be rune,
Or whether it be none,
Is of within;

The "tune is in the tree,"
The sceptic showeth me;
"No, sir! In thee!"



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