Monday, May 15, 2017

Over almost as soon as it started #phenology

Blooms have faded and are largely gone from the pear tree. Local trilliums have finally bloomed. Hoary puccoon is starting to flower, as are columbine plants. Years past, we've had scattered single puccoon plants. This year there's a whole cluster.

a host of hoary puccoon
a host of hoary puccoon
Photo by J. Harrington

hoary puccoon beginning to bloom
hoary puccoon beginning to bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

The front "lawn" is overrun with violets, ground ivy and wild strawberry, inhibiting mowing of the few remaining clusters of grass. The butterfly plants we added last year may or may not have made it through the Winter. The Better Half is both more experienced at gardening and more optimistic than yours truly. Over the next week or two we'll see who called it. Probably turn out that some, but not all, of the plants will need to be replaced, in which case we're both validated.

A hummingbird has been using the deck feeder several times a day, or several hummers have been feeding there less frequently. Rose-breasted grosbeaks and red-winged blackbirds arrive regularly. Baltimore orioles have disappeared for several days now. I hope they come back. Maybe I'll try adding some orange halves to the mix.

A week or so ago one of the prairie fields in Carlos Avery was treated with a controlled burn. For several days about all you could see was char. Then we got a little rain and a little more time had passed. It's greening up nicely now. See:

resilience of green after controlled burn
resilience of green after controlled burn
Photo by J. Harrington


Have you realized it's only two weeks until the start of meteorological Summer? Even before that, cultural Summer begins with Memorial Day weekend. When Spring started, snow was still a dominant factor in our weather. Yesterday, southwestern Minnesota reached its first 90℉ for the year. Spring's transitions may seem to take forever to arrive, but they never seem to drag out like our Winters (wrote the writer who doesn't ice fish, snow mobile, cross-country ski, etc.). Since, before we know it, we'll be in the midst of the dog days of Summer, think about playing some hookey and relishing in what's left of Spring. Next week might be a better time to try that, according to our local weather forecast.

In Perpetual Spring


By Amy Gerstler


Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies   
and trip over the roots   
of a sweet gum tree,   
in search of medieval   
plants whose leaves,   
when they drop off   
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they   
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal   
human desire for peace   
with every other species   
wells up in you. The lion   
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,   
queen of the weeds, revives   
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt   
there is a leaf to cure it.


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