Friday, June 17, 2016

As the livin' gets easy #phenology

Sunday will be Father's Day; Monday -- Summer Solstice; June will be two-thirds gone and we'll be well on our way to the mid-Summer celebration of Independence Day. Many of the local corn fields look like they're going to be knee high by the 4th of July; some, maybe not. Although maybe some of the "corn fields" that I think aren't doing well are actually bean fields doing just fine. At 55 or 60 mph, I'm not always sure of what I'm seeing grow.

sandhill cranes in a field
sandhill cranes in a field
Photo by J. Harrington

One nearby field, one of those that may be corn or fallow or soy beans, I suspect the latter, has half-a-dozen or eight sandhill cranes foraging fairly regularly. If I'm wrong, and it is a corn field, the cranes will no doubt move elsewhere as the corn height increases. One of the few things these days that gives me a sense of hope for the future is the increase in Minnesota's sandhill crane populations.

roadside crown vetch
roadside crown vetch
Photo by J. Harrington

Road sides and ditches are showing more and more crown vetch, yet another wide-spread invasive. (I keep wanting to believe it's actually red clover.) I just don't see the local county or township or cities spending money to control invasive species along roads, although I wouldn't mind seeing lots more of our rural roadsides restored to remnants of prairie, with more emphasis on flowers than grasses.

Corn Maze


By David Barber


Here is where
You can get nowhere
Faster than ever
As you go under
Deeper and deeper

In the fertile smother
Of another acre
Like any other
You can’t peer over
And then another

And everywhere
You veer or hare
There you are
Farther and farther
Afield than before

But on you blunder
In the verdant meander
As if   the answer
To looking for cover
Were to bewilder

Your inner minotaur
And near and far were
Neither here nor there
And where you are
Is where you were


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