Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer's cusp #phenology

About this time of year, we can start to watch for local sandhill crane families to begin flocking behavior. Soon, the Canada goose populations will resume training flights. Even though it's going to be a while before actual migrations take place, it takes lots of training to get muscles in shape and be sure flight feathers are working properly. Joni Mitchell has written one of my all time favorite songs about Autumn's restlessness. Tom Rush's version of The Urge for Going gets played a lot around here from September through November.

sandhill cranes Summer gathering
sandhill cranes Summer gathering
Photo by J. Harrington

This morning's cool breeze hint's at Autumn's impending arrival, never mind the 90℉ forecast for Tuesday. The clouds have taken on an unSummery attitude, threatening rain while moving toward the South on Northwest breezes that prevail in Winter. Soon it will be apple picking, and eating, time. Between now and the beginning of December the best six weeks of the year will take place. Soon the deer flies and mosquitoes will be gone. Maybe, actually probably, not all at once, but there'll be the raptor migration over Hawk Ridge, the Fall Color progression, and the monarch butterfly migration South. (I'll change the map in the sidebar some day soon.) Have you ever really thought about creatures as small and fragile as monarch butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds traveling as far as they do?

August monarchs
August monarchs
Photo by J. Harrington


Fall Parties



I cannot wait for fall parties.
The invitations have begun to roll in.

I used to think I loved summer parties
until they got this year so sweaty and sad,

the whole world away at the shore,
sunk in sweet and salt.

Goodbye, summer: 
you were supposed to save us

from spring but everyone just slumped
into you, sad sacks 

pulling the shade down on an afternoon 
of a few too many rounds. 

Well, I won’t have another.
I’ll have fall. The fall of parties

for no reason, of shivering rooftops,
scuffed boots, scarves with cigarette holes.

I’ll warm your house.
I’ll snort your mulling spices.

I’ll stay too late, I’ll go on a beer run,
I’ll do anything 

to stay in your dimly lit rooms 
scrubbed clean of all their pity.


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