Monday, July 25, 2016

Mid-Summer #phenology

This morning we noticed, for the second time this season, a sumac's leaves showing fall colors. The first time it was only a single leaf that turned red so I wrote it off to "heat stress." This time all the leaves on a small plant were shades of yellow tinting toward red. They nicely complemented the fields full of yellow black-eyed susan that are blooming almost everywhere there isn't corn or soybeans planted.

The local round-headed bush clover is just starting to flower and I'm learning that even a gentle breeze makes focusing on a tall, single-stemmed plant a challenge that I all too often fail.

Round-headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata)
Round-headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata)
Photo by J. Harrington

Unless the weather starts getting really obstreperous again, I think we're reaching Summer's seventh inning stretch. Time for the Better Half and I to go exploring up north along the Gunflint Trail. I'm looking forward to our Summer visit to the North Woods and, I hope, getting to play with some brook trout and take some iconic pictures, maybe even of a moose! If the wifi is working in that part of rural Minnesota, I'll post a couple of pictures while we're up there. Else, I'll rejoin you at week's end when we're back.

Summer


By Carlo Betocchi

Translated by Geoffrey Brock
Read the translator's notes

And it grows, the vain
summer,
even for us with our
bright green sins:

behold the dry guest,
the wind,
as it stirs up quarrels
among magnolia boughs

and plays its serene
tune on
the prows of all the leaves—
and then is gone,

leaving the leaves
still there,
the tree still green, but breaking
the heart of the air.


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