Friday, May 5, 2017

The magic continues #phenology

First, if I can do so without treading on cultural appropriation toes, let me wish a happy Cinco de Mayo to those celebrating the Mexican victory over French forces.

Late yesterday afternoon, the first eastern swallowtail butterfly of the year, at least I think that's what it was, flitted by as I was walking one of the dogs. It was preceded by a cabbage moth or sulphur butterfly. Earlier, at a nearby Scientific and Natural Area, I saw what may have been a spicebush swallowtail, predominantly dark brown with a row of light colored (white?) spots near the hind edges of the hind wings.

eastern swallowtail butterfly
eastern swallowtail butterfly
Photo by J. Harrington

Today one of our hummingbird/oriole feeders got filled and hung with high hopes. A downy woodpecker was just checking it out. Swallows are swooping and swirling from the purple martin house. The weather is exceedingly pleasant, almost enough to compensate for all the other days. Recalcitrant, laggard oak trees are finally putting some effort into leaf growth and development. Not enough yet to claim they're thriving, but enough to hope that someday soon they may.

downy woodpecker
downy woodpecker
Photo by J. Harrington

The St. Croix River above Marine is running more than bank full, which surprised me. There must have been more precipitation Up North. Unless I missed spotting them as I drove past yesterday evening, the wooded hillside where I've seen trillium in past Springs was still barren. That leaves something to look forward to. All in all, we're starting to settle into a pleasant Spring pattern, in time for Mother's Day and walleye opener. Even this curmudgeonly, crotchety old blogger is getting more active as the weather warms. That'll be better for me than the fussing and fuming I've been doing about the goings on in our state and national capital. Time for me to follow the advice at the bottom of the page and go sit in Nature.

Breaking Spring



seems like a good way to say
I spent all last week feeling helpless
and talking about it in terms of not being
Why can’t compassion change our lives
even half so completely as a suicide bomber,
or half so immediately as a natural disaster
Big ideas get me nowhere, so
the fact that breaking spring feels better
than cracking up is at least a start
toward a walk through Washington Park,
its trees in pink blossom, its white-yellow-purple
Tomorrow I will talk about Frankenstein
in bed and then I will talk about it with people
who are sleeping    I will say that it’s a book
about artistic responsibility    I will
say it’s alive     It’s alive     And some number
of eyes will stare back at me without believing
any of it matters, or without believing
it matters for them       And what can I say
to convince them     I have only my love
to recommend it beyond what it already is
My suspect credibility upon the rockets
of birds, the soft parts of people, the oceans’
inevitable, cyclical weeping     Who has time
for poetry has more time than they deserve


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