|yesterday's "wet spot"|
Photo by J. Harrington
We need more precipitation to help speed up our Spring green-up. The "wet spot" behind the house, which usually has enough early Spring water to attract a duck or goose or two is absolutely dry. Again, in all the time we've lived here, I don't recall seeing a Spring as dry as it is right now. If I'm reading the table correctly, we're about 3 inches below average for year-to-date precipitation. That helps explain why much of East Central Minnesota is currently under moderate grass fire danger.
|"wet spot" late April 2014|
Photo by J. Harrington
The next several days are forecast to bring several periods or rain, plus warmer temperatures. That will get us to the point where, as my grandmother used to say, if you hold still, you can hear the buds bursting. Time for me to pick up the pace getting my fly-fishing gear organized, or what passes for that. Soon it will be April, which brings us National Poetry Month and the return of what's blooming by month and color at Minnesota Wildflowers. I'm still fiddling around with trying to organize a list of insect hatches and wildflowers blooming. There are so many of the latter and I haven't yet discovered the "most common" to use as indicators. Not a bad problem to have, I suppose.
READING AN ANTHOLOGY OF CHINESE POEMS OF THE SUNG DYNASTY, I PAUSE TO ADMIRE THE LENGTH AND CLARITY OF THEIR TITLES
It seems these poets have nothingup their ample sleevesthey turn over so many cards so early,telling us before the first linewhether it is wet or dry,night or day, the season the man is standing in,even how much he has had to drink.Maybe it is autumn and he is looking at a sparrow.Maybe it is snowing on a town with a beautiful name."Viewing Peonies at the Temple of Good Fortuneon a Cloudy Afternoon" is one of Sun Tung Po's."Dipping Water from the River and Simmering Tea"is another one, or just"On a Boat, Awake at Night."And Lu Yu takes the simple rice cake with"In a Boat on a Summer EveningI Heard the Cry of a Waterbird.It Was Very Sad and Seemed To Be SayingMy Woman Is Cruel—Moved, I Wrote This Poem."There is no iron turnstile to push against hereas with headings like "Vortex on a String,""The Horn of Neurosis," or whatever.No confusingly inscribed welcome mat to puzzle over.Instead, "I Walk Out on a Summer Morningto the Sound of Birds and a Waterfall"is a beaded curtain brushing over my shoulders.And "Ten Days of Spring Rain Have Kept Me Indoors"is a servant who shows me into the roomwhere a poet with a thin beardis sitting on a mat with a jug of winewhispering something about clouds and cold wind,about sickness and the loss of friends.How easy he has made it for me to enter here,to sit down in a corner,cross my legs like his, and listen.
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