Friday, August 19, 2016

Windfalls for whitetails #phenology

Last night we got some show-offy thunderstorms. All morning we've been getting intermittent rain showers. Mid-day there was a lull in the rain and a couple of whitetail does decided that would be a good time to see if the recent storms had causes any of the ripening pears to deliver windfalls. As I watched their browsing, the answer was yes. After the first few fruits had been tasted, the smaller of the two does, I assume it was the yearling daughter of the mature adult, started to scamper about and demonstrate just how fast she could run. (My dog has a similar compulsion from time to time.) "Mom" kept munching pears from the ground while "the kid" dashed down the hill, up the hill and across the hill, looping back to "Mom" each time. "See me. See how fast I can go!"

whitetail doe under pear tree
whitetail doe under pear tree
Photo by J. Harrington

Before the arrival of the two deer, I had been scratching my head about what to post today. I didn't want to write about more rain; nor about the fact that Minnesota's divided government is becoming less and less functional (no special session, no bonding, no tax bill etc.), and so is the county's; nor, thinking about dysfunctional governance, the fact that Minneapolis will be "blessed" with a fund-raising visit from the 2016 GOP presidential candidate. I'm truly grateful to the two does for showing up when they did.

On a note related by the rain, a few days ago we mentioned developing a list of poems about rivers. Since then, we've discovered another one, although we don't yet have a copy of the work itself. We note it here because we want to remind you that this project is underway and mention that no one has (as yet) suggested any titles. Anyhow, from England, via the guardian, we came across a review of Alice Oswald's new book of poems. A sidebar link brought us to Dart, "inspired by the river Dart in Devon, written after the poet spent three years recording conversations with people who live and work on the river." I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and reading it. We're including today's poem on climate change to give you a sense of Oswald's work. Does it bring to mind Jane Kenyon's Otherwise, or is that just me?

Written some time between the Month of May and the Month of May Not by Alice Oswald


To support the launch of the 10:10 campaign to reduce carbon emissions, the Review asked some of our greatest poets to produce new work in response to the crisis

Is it possible
The sun could turn over a grey cloud
And find a may tree underneath?
It is possible.
Is it possible
There could be lines of blossom
Like bird-linen drying on the branches?
It is possible.
Is it possible
A stream could turn over a stone
And find a mayfly underneath?
It is possible.
Is it possible
Maybe a mayfly might
Have a passionate two second love affair in mid-air?
It is possible.
Is it possible
Millions of windblown refugees
Each with a leather seedcase could stand up
And let their green clothes fall on them
The way a child at midnight
Sits up stalk-straight asking for water in a trance of heat
And drinks it straight down without waking?
It is possible.
Is it possible
Several billion birdsung springs
Could prove this hypothesis:
That the green grows back every May?
Or is it possible
May itself
May not?
It is possible.

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