|pear tree surrounded by five whitetails, 2014|
Photo by J. Harrington
Now that we've mentioned hunting, firearms deer season opens this coming Saturday. Last year and the year before, the pear tree's fruit and the deer population seemed to be in much better shape than this year. We haven't seen any whitetails or turkeys wandering around for quite some time. I'm not sure why. There has been an increase in pickups and SUVs cruising the local roads, and I expect it may get noisy about legal shooting time on Saturday, but maybe not. If the deer we haven't seen just aren't around, it may be quiet.
|ice covered local pond, November 7, 2013|
Photo by J. Harrington
I don't know if you remember, but three years ago, the local ponds were starting to get ice covered during this first week of the month. If anyone can suggest references on how to think about the "normal" seasonal variability in a state like Minnesota, sort of bracketing phenology, please add a comment. Much of what I see deals with daily averages for temps and precipitation instead of any sort of distribution by day or week.
By the stream, where the ground is softand gives, under the slightest pressure—eventhe fly would leave its footprint hereand the paw of the shrew the crescentof its claws like the strokes of a chiselin clay; where the lightest chill, lighterthan the least rumor of winter, sets the reedsto a kind of speaking, and a single drop of rainleaves a crater to catch the first silverglint of sun when the clouds slide awayfrom each other like two tired lovers,and the light returns, pale, though brightenedby the last chapter of late autumn:copper, rusted oak, gold aspen, and the redpages of maple, the wind leafing through to the endthe annals of beech, the slim volumesof birch, the elegant script of the ferns ...for the birds, it is allnotations for a coda, for the otteran invitation to the river,and for the deer—a dreamin which to disappear, light-footedon the still open book of earth,adding the marks of their passage,adding it all in, waiting onlyfor the first thick flurry of snowflakesfor cover, soft cover that carriesno title, no name.
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