Monday, March 20, 2017

Called for icing

Well, we've officially made it through another Minnesota Winter. Since it's now officially Spring, I must have either allergies or a Spring cold. The Better Half [BH] came down with something late last week, so that makes the source of her miseries an ordinary Winter cold or, perhaps a very exotic, astronomiconly Spring cold. To paraphrase Shelley, If Spring has come, can runny noses be far behind?

geese, swans, melting ice, opening waters
geese, swans, melting ice, opening waters
Photo by J. Harrington

I used to think that ice out occurred first on the smaller, shallower ponds and puddles, then on the larger, deeper lakes. What I noticed this morning is that's incorrect, at least locally this year. Several of our smaller ponds are still pretty much ice covered while parts or all of larger deeper water bodies are either wide open or notably ice free, although some large, shallow lakes still are mostly ice covered. I'm not sure if this is attributable to our relatively mild Winter or some other anomalous factors, but it definitely seems weird. This web site, which has lots of fascinating information about ice, wasn't much help in understanding the ice-out sequence we've had this year, although, if I spent more time studying it ...?

Later this week we're supposed to get several wet days. Rain should help thaw the ground and encourage plant growth and further greening up. Maybe by then my nose will have stopped dripping and the BH will be healthy again and rivulets and rills will be all that's running, and budding branches all that's dripping. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying watching the local swans and geese while continuing to look for red-winged blackbirds and sandhill cranes. There will soon be eggs to be laid and hatched and nestlings to be fledged. I imagine that waterfowl are immune from typical rhino viruses?

Mud Season


We unstave the winter’s tangle.
Sad tomatoes, sullen sky.
We unplay the summer’s blight.
Rotted on the vine, black fruit
swings free of strings that bound it.
In the compost, ghost melon; in the fields
grotesque extruded peppers.
We prod half-thawed mucky things.
In the sky, starlings eddying.
Tomorrow, snow again, old silence.
Today, the creaking icy puller.
Last night I woke
to wild unfrozen prattle.
Rain on the roof—a foreign liquid tongue.


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