Monday, May 8, 2017

Now and zen, emergence #phenology

Down the road a couple of miles there's a hillside that's been covered with trillium the past few years, sometime in late May or early June. I slowed down this morning long enough to take a careful look and the drive-by didn't show any blooms yet. At least around here Spring may have started a few weeks early but it now seems to have reverted to a more traditional schedule. If you watch much horse racing, you may have noticed that many who set the pace early in the race aren't always among the top finishers. Maybe that's how Spring is running this year's race through the season. Just because Nature is never hurried doesn't mean she doesn't occasionally pick up the pace.

sun-dappled woods sprinkled with trillium
sun-dappled woods sprinkled with trillium
Photo by J. Harrington

As the weather's warmed and the season's progressed, we've noticed dandelions are now joined by ground ivy (the cursed creeping Charlie to turf lawn lovers), which is encroaching on our wild strawberry-filled front yard, and common blue violets, I think, on the gravel road side. Once again the local herd of whitetails appears to have spent part of the Winter nibbling on our black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) bushes. Maybe this year, come Autumn, we'll remember to use some repellant. I wonder if dog hair would work. Lord knows we've got more than enough to spare.

ground ivy with strawberry leaf
ground ivy with strawberry leaf
Photo by J. Harrington

Today is the birthday of Gary Snyder, one of the best writers and wisest, most sane, people I know of. Please join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday and many, many happy returns of the day.


Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
              placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
              in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
              riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way.
              straying planets,
These poems, people,
              lost ponies with
Dragging saddles –
              and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like an endless
Game of Go.
              ants and pebbles
In the thin loam, each rock a word
              a creek-washed stone
Granite: ingrained
              with torment of fire and weight
Crystal and sediment linked hot
              all change, in thoughts,
As well as things.

Gary Snyder

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Please be kind to each other while you can.