Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pine pollen time #phenology

The pines beside the driveway are coating everything beneath them with pollen. Last year's dump was a few days later in June.

pine branches reflected in driveway puddle
pine branches reflected in driveway puddle
Photo by J. Harrington

pine pollen ring around driveway puddle
pine pollen ring around driveway puddle
Photo by J. Harrington

I suspect these particular pines have been doing this around the first week of June since before the driveway was 'dozed in the late 1970's. When my life centered around a 9-to-5 job, I'd back out of the attached garage in the morning, near first light, drive to St. Paul, and upon return, pull into the attached garage late in the afternoon. During those days I don't think I ever noticed the pine pollen. James Wright offers a more mindful perspective that answers Mary Oliver's question:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

By James Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,   
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.   
Down the ravine behind the empty house,   
The cowbells follow one another   
Into the distances of the afternoon.   
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,   
The droppings of last year’s horses   
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.   
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

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