|Minnesota Spring (sometimes)|
Photo by J. Harrington
During the past few days, I've come down with a severe case of bluebird envy. Reports on Twitter from Belwin Conservancy are that male bluebirds arrived about three weeks ago and females within the past day or so. We're about 30 miles or so North of Belwin's location and we've had bluebirds nesting in our box about every year since we put it up. So far this year, nada! The good folks at eBird have a cool Occurrence Map that intimates "my" bluebirds should be here momentarily. I suppose, if I anticipated a major snow storm in the near future, I might be hesitant to prematurely head North myself. I don't seem to have any photos of backyard bluebirds in residence before early May, so, as usual, I'm probably being impatient.
|early May, bluebird weather|
Photo by J. Harrington
Have you ever read Aldo Leopold's wonderful A Sand County Almanac? Do you remember the section in July titled Great Possessions? In it, Leopold recounts listening to the sequence of bird songs, starting at 3:35 am with a field sparrow and continuing through sunrise with a growing mixed chorus. [If you've never read Sand County, you really should. If you've never been out at false dawn to listen to the world awaken, you should add that to your bucket list and do it sooner than later.]
I was reminded of Great Possessions while reading the final poem in Alice Oswald's Falling Awake. TITHONUS, 46 MINUTES IN THE LIFE OF THE DAWN, translates a Greek myth and tragedy into poetically human terms and time. If you enjoy poetry that remarkably captures a spirit of place and time, see if you can find some of Oswald's pieces. I think you'll really enjoy them. I have.
A Short Story of Falling
By Alice Oswald
It is the story of the falling rainto turn into a leaf and fall againit is the secret of a summer showerto steal the light and hide it in a flowerand every flower a tiny tributarythat from the ground flows green and momentaryis one of water's wishes and this talehangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnailif only I a passerby could passas clear as water through a plume of grassto find the sunlight hidden at the tipturning to seed a kind of lifting rain dripthen I might know like water how to balancethe weight of hope against the light of patiencewater which is so raw so earthy-strongand lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks alongdrawn under gravity towards my tongueto cool and fill the pipe-work of this songwhich is the story of the falling rainthat rises to the light and falls again
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