Monday, June 5, 2017

Celebrate #WorldEnvironmentDay and #phenology

"World Environment Day is a chance to reconnect with nature and celebrate the places that matter most to you."

expect wild geranium blooms to be faded by month's end
expect wild geranium blooms to be faded by month's end
Photo by J. Harrington

Here in My Minnesota, we celebrate Every Day something like Environment Day, or Earth Day. One day a year may be sufficient to celebrate birth days, anniversaries, graduations and the like. If we try, just a little bit harder as Janis would urge us, we can find something in Natural to celebrate and enjoy just about every single day. At least that's what we've been trying to demonstrate in this blog for the past few years. In the process, we've discovered that we feel more and more at home in our adopted bioregion as we learn the names of the flora and fauna that are native to this place.

Penstemon grandiflorus in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

Although we may never actually enjoy Winter's bitter cold, the beauty of its snowflakes and the quiet of Winter's woods can be a restful contrast to Spring's bursting palette of greens, Summer's sultry sunsets and Autumn's harvest cornucopia. Phenology, "the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life," provides insights into what to look for and when to anticipate natural developments. I first became acquainted with it as I was learning about fly-fishing and discovered that some insects hatched year-round while others reached maturity over a brief period of weeks or months. Not all wild flowers bloom all Spring or Summer, but, if I'm not paying attention (all too often), I won't notice that. Speaking of which, trillium blossoms have mostly disappeared but large beardtongue is finally coming into bloom locally, there are more dragonflies appearing daily, and the livin' is startin' to get easy. It's Summer time here in the North Country.

[UPDATE: first blossoms of hairy vetch appeared.
]

Instructions on Not Giving Up



Ada Limón, 1976


More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.


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