Sunday, September 4, 2016

Season's quiet songs #phenology

We hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend and noticing what's going on around you. Driving north from St. Croix Falls on Highway 87 last Friday, we noticed a number of fields we passed had large flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds. The good folks at Crex Meadows, just north of Grantsburg, have reported a variety of birds beginning to flock as part of a seasonal migration pattern. Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, tells us that Fall morning birdsong is greatly subdued from its Spring exuberance.

Autumn asters
Autumn asters
Photo by J. Harrington

Back across the river in Minnesota, asters are blooming as goldenrod begins to fade. Turkey flocks of poults and hens still show that this year's fledglings aren't yet quite fully grown but should be close to it by Autumn's end or maybe sooner.

field of pumpkins
field of pumpkins
Photo by J. Harrington

Pumpkins have become visible in local pumpkin patches, triggering thoughts of pies and jack-o-lanterns. Hummingbirds are still stopping at the feeder. Skies are back to being cloudy. The local transition of the seasons seems to be progressing smoothly so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Joy Harjo nicely captures the season's mood and promise.




Fall Song

It is a dark fall day.
The earth is slightly damp with rain.
I hear a jay.
The cry is blue.
I have found you in the story again.
Is there another word for ‘‘divine’’?
I need a song that will keep sky open in my mind.
If I think behind me, I might break.
If I think forward, I lose now.
Forever will be a day like this
Strung perfectly on the necklace of days.
Slightly overcast
Yellow leaves
Your jacket hanging in the hallway
Next to mine.

                 Joy Harjo


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