Saturday, June 10, 2017

Berry, berry June #phenology

This morning the moon was encircled by the largest ring I can remember ever seeing. (The full minimoon was last night/this morning.) My cell phone camera clearly wasn't up to the task of capturing it, but it at least creates a partial sense of the experience. The Anishnaabe call June's full moon the strawberry moon, "ode'imini-giizis." One of our local "pick your own" berry patches just started advertising their strawberries. Climate change hasn't yet changed that and, with luck and effort on our part, it won't.

a ring around June's strawberry moon, a minimoon
Photo by J. Harrington

Today's warm winds out of the South are tossing about the fully-leafed branches of our woodlot's oaks. The swarms of back yard dragonflies seem to be coping fairly well. If you spend enough time watching the dragonflies dart over the unmown waving grasses and beneath the wind-roiled treetops, motion sickness could follow.

Sandbars are starting to show as water levels drop in the St. Croix and its tributaries. We're still a week and a half from Summer solstice, the beginning of astronomical Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but a Summer weather pattern has already set in. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow and much of next week. With luck, they'll moisten and soften the soil enough to make it easier, and more successful, to pull a bunch of buckthorn bushes later in the week. If the weather cooperates, the existing brush pile will become a Solstice bonfire and the pulled buckthorn the start of a new brush pile.

Country Summer



Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced
Like a strict box its gems encased,
Has spilt from out that cunning lid,
All in an innocent green round,
Those melting rubies which it hid;
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted,
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry,
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted.

The wren that thieved it in the eaves
A trailer of the rose could catch
To her poor droopy sloven thatch,
And side by side with the wren’s brood—
O lovely time of beggar’s luck—
Opens the quaint and hairy bud;
And full and golden is the yield
Of cows that never have to house,
But all night nibble under boughs,
Or cool their sides in the moist field.

Into the rooms flow meadow airs,
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round.
Inside and out, and sky and ground
Are much the same; the wishing star,
Hesperus, kind and early born,
Is risen only finger-far;
All stars stand close in summer air,
And tremble, and look mild as amber;
When wicks are lighted in the chamber,
They are like stars which settled there.

Now straightening from the flowery hay,
Down the still light the mowers look,
Or turn, because their dreaming shook,
And they waked half to other days,
When left alone in the yellow stubble
The rusty-coated mare would graze.
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born,
Another thought can come to mind,
But like the shivering of the wind,
Morning and evening in the corn.



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