The second item in our update is an internet discovery found while looking for something else. (Such serendipity is also one of the reasons I love visiting independent bookstores.) The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission [GLIFWC] has a 2016 phenology calendar. Since the GLIFWC is both indigenous and local, we hereby update our August 1 listing of
Photo by J. Harrington
The format of the GLIFWC phenology calendar seems like it would be a good framework to build a Northern Rivers phenology. (I'm not sure how far south of Minnesota we need to go before we're free of rivers that ice up.) Events that I can think of of the "top of my head" include:
- Spring -- ice out, flow increase
- later Spring, early Summer -- snow melt, high water, flooding
- Summer -- torrential rains, flooding
- Autumn -- low flows
- late Autumn, early Winter -- ice up
Speaking of refinements and additions, no sooner had we proposed curating a list of River poems, that the Academy of American Poets released their curated list of Poems on Water for Teachers. There must be more than humidity in the air this August.
My Mother Goes to Vote
We walked five blocksto the elementary school,my mother’s high heelscrunching through playground gravel.We entered through a side door.Down the long corridor,decorated with Halloween masks,health department safety posters—we followed the arrowsto the third grade classroom.My mother stepped aloneinto the booth, pulling the curtain behind her.I could see only the backs of hercalves in crinkled nylons.A partial vanishing, then reappearingpocketbook crooked on her elbow,our mayor’s button pinned to her lapel.Even then I could see—to chooseis to follow what has alreadybeen decided.We marched back outfinding a new way back down streetsnamed for flowersand accomplished men.I said their names out loud, as we foundour way home, to the cramped house,the devoted porch light left on,the customary meatloaf.I remember, in the classroom convertedinto a voting place—there were two mothers, conversing,squeezed into the children’s desk chairs.
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Please be kind to each other while you can.