Sunday, March 12, 2017

Moving toward the Ides phenology

An all to brief glance through the windows early this morning prompts a report that I think the sandhill cranes are back. The elongated outline I glimpsed looked more crane-long than goose-plump. It is about the right time of month for their return to local marshes. They were here in numbers on March 13 last year.

Sandhill cranes, mid-March
Sandhill cranes, mid-March
Photo by J. Harrington

At least one purple finch was back at the feeder yesterday. I've no idea where they go when they disappear for a week or so at a time, unless we catch some from waves of northward migrants as they pass through. But then we often have numbers of them around for more than a week at a time.

purple finches at feeder
purple finches at feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

Sans segue, except that it represents another "Spring" discovery, you might enjoy the poetry of Charles Goodrich, especially if your thumb is greener than mine. Although he's from the Northwest, he has a direct link to Minnesota because a number of his poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on Writer's Almanac.

Freedom in Ohio


                        on my birthday

I want a future
making hammocks
out of figs and accidents.
Or a future quieter
than snow. The leopards
stake out the backyard
and will flee at noon.
My terror is not secret,
but necessary,
as the wild must be,
as Sandhill cranes must
thread the meadow
yet again. Thus, autumn
cautions the cold
and the wild never want
to be wild. So what
to do about the thrum
of my thinking, the dangerous
pawing at the door?
Yesterday has no harmony
with today. I bought
a wool blanket, now shredded
in the yard. I abided by
dwelling, thought nothing
of now. And now?
I’m leopard and crane,
all’s fled.


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