Thursday, August 25, 2016

Staging's starting #phenology

Admittedly it's debatable how "natural" this is, but it is seasonal. The Minnesota State Fair opens today. This morning's temperatures were Autumnal (low 60s). The Fair, if it doesn't signal the start of Autumn, definitely notes the end of Summer. his will be the last weekend before Labor Day.

I suspect local sandhill cranes are flocking up but haven't yet seen any this year. Reports on social media are that the monarch butterfly migration is starting (see sidebar).

sandhill crane flocks, August 30, 2013
sandhill crane flocks, August 30, 2013
Photo by J. Harrington

Sightings
  • Ruby-throated hummingbirds at nectar feeder again today.

  • Red squirrel inside screened patio. I noticed two large holes near top of a screen panel, adjacent outside steps from deck. (And here I've been fussing about chipmunks.)

  • Several young of the year goldfinches trying to figure out how to navigate around and land on a crowded feeder.

The Sandhills


By Linda Hogan


The language of cranes
we once were told
is the wind. The wind
is their method,
their current, the translated story
of life they write across the sky.
Millions of years
they have blown here
on ancestral longing,
their wings of wide arrival,
necks long, legs stretched out
above strands of earth
where they arrive
with the shine of water,
stories, interminable
language of exchanges
descended from the sky
and then they stand,
earth made only of crane
from bank to bank of the river
as far as you can see
the ancient story made new.


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