Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Farewell to "Spring?" #phenology

It's raining -- again. Which is better than still raining, I suppose. Those of us who didn't get up to the North Country over the weekend found that North Country weather came to us. The furnace was on for a bit this morning, with outside temperatures well below 60℉. I just keep telling myself that this is Minnesota in "Spring time."

doe and fawn in wildflower field
doe and fawn in wildflower field
Photo by J. Harrington

This morning I had to run a quick errand to near Dresser Wisconsin. I don't know if it was the weekend traffic or something else, but there were at leastthree roadkill does in different places on the side of the road, more than I'm used to seeing on a trip of that length. At least I think they were does which would mean they probably left a fawn or fawns as orphans somewhere. I'm once again left with the impression that there are too many of us in too much of a hurry too often to serve much good. I wonder if I'll remember to follow my own advice and slow down on and off the highway. Then I'll be able to enjoy more scenes like the one above.

roadside yellow goat's beard
roadside yellow goat's beard
Photo by J. Harrington

I may have been too pessimistic about the likelihood of the penstemon blooming this week. The flower buds have developed nicely and look like they might open in the next few days. Yellow goat's beard flowers are now visible along our roadside. They just seemed to "happen" in the past day or so.

Traveling through the Dark


By William E. Stafford


Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car   
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;   
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,   
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;   
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;   
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,   
then pushed her over the edge into the river.


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