Saturday, May 20, 2017

Falling rain rarely hurries #phenology

This morning, driving through the rain, I started to wonder where the phrase "April showers bring May flowers" came from. It certainly doesn't seem to be a particularly good fit for our North Country where, with maybe some local exceptions, May receives more precipitation than April and June more than May. That's also reflected in the increased abundance of wild flower blossoms from April to May to June. The proverb is reported to have originated in England and is first found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Native Americans appear to have no comparable saying in their naming of the moons. [If you find one I missed, please let me know.]

Cascade Falls, Osceola Creek
Cascade Falls, Osceola Creek
Photo by J. Harrington

The St. Croix River levels are listed as high or very high. The rain we've been getting has to go somewhere and one of a river's main jobs is to return to the sea rain that falls in its watershed. The wet conditions have, I'm guessing, also brought high water to many of the trout streams I'd otherwise have been visiting. "May showers bring June's falling water levels" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "April showers ...", does it?

Spring rain
Spring rain
Photo by J. Harrington

One of the nice fringe benefits about fishing in general and trout fishing in particular is that almost always it gets participants into pretty, and often beautiful, country. A week or so ago, when the Better Half and I were searching for a relatively nearby trout stream, we discovered it ran at the base of a hillside abundantly covered with trillium. Spending more time on William Least Heat Moon's Blue Highways and local gravel roads leads to rewarding discoveries of beauty, delight and satisfaction not available to those always in a hurry to get somewhere. One of the pleasures of bioregionalism and zen is learning to enjoy and appreciate where you're at. These days I realize I'm surrounded by a lot more beauty than I've taken time to notice and appreciate. Is that true of you, too?


By Marie Howe

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store   
and the gas station and the green market and   
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,   
as she runs along two or three steps behind me   
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.   

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?   
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?   
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,   
Honey I'm sorry I keep saying Hurry—   
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.   

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking   
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,   
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.

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