Saturday, May 27, 2017

A nettlesome time of remembrance #phenology

The folks who are telling us that climate change / global warming contributes to more ticks surviving our Winters are on target, at least according to the number I've lifted off my skin and clothing this year compared to years past. Part of our Memorial Day weekend is being spent pulling stinging nettles and dame's rocket. The latter are pretty but invasive, or at least aggressive, and I haven't yet worked up the courage to try any foraging uses of the former.

an explosion of dame's rocket
an explosion of dame's rocket
Photo by J. Harrington

The folks up the road (Eichten's) look like they have a nice collection of bison calves going in to Summer. We drove past them several times yesterday as we were picking up a new tractor/mower and some implements. (See above re: Memorial Day weekend activities.) Their's is one of two bison herds in our general neck of the woods, the other one being at Belwin Conservancy.

bison, Memorial Day (2014)
bison, Memorial Day (2014)
Photo by J. Harrington

As you're enjoying this long weekend, traditional start of Summer, please don't forget the real reason we have this holiday, remembering those who died while serving in our armed forces. I still remember, as a child, the parade followed by a 21 gun salute at the cemetery and someone playing Taps on the bugle, or, perhaps, on a trumpet if a bugler couldn't be found. I was fortunate in those times to have my Dad as company. He had returned safely from both WWII and the "Korean police action." Like many kids, I didn't know at the time just how lucky I was to have him.

Memorial Day


By Gregory Orr


1
After our march from the Hudson to the top
of Cemetery Hill, we Boy Scouts proudly endured
the sermons and hot sun while Girl Scouts
lolled among graves in the maple shade.
When members of the veterans’ honor guard
aimed their bone-white rifles skyward and fired,
I glimpsed beneath one metal helmet
the salmon-pink flesh of Mr. Webber’s nose,
restored after shrapnel tore it.



         2
Friends who sat near me in school died in Asia,
now lie here under new stones that small flags flap
beside.
          It’s fifth-grade recess: war stories.
Mr. Webber stands before us and plucks
his glass eye from its socket, holds it high
between finger and thumb. The girls giggle
and scream; the awed boys gape. The fancy pocket watch
he looted from a shop in Germany
ticks on its chain.



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