Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bearly Spring #phenology

As we were sipping our first cup of coffee this morning, we noticed that the bird feeders were missing from their deck hangers. Then we saw the feeders were perched on top of the galvanized trash can where we store the sunflower seeds. Our guess was that the Daughter and Son-In-Law had decided it was time to bring in feeders at night so any neighborhood bear is less tempted to nosh. Last year we were a little slow to change our seasonal pattern. The wear and tear on the feeder was noteworthy.

how to tell when bears leave hibernation
how to tell when bears leave hibernation
Photo by J. Harrington

There's still lots of snow covering grasses which aren't even close to greening. Not much good to eat in the woods these days. The young'uns had also put the trash can in the garage. When we finally got the full story, it turns out that as they were walking their dogs last night, one of the dogs went stiff, hackles up on its back, all that good stuff. Then the kids heard and smelled the bear. So, we're back into the season where one more chore gets added to the daily list for first thing in the morning and last at day's end: put feeders out, take feeders in.

We're hoping that tonight's and tomorrows "wintry mix" won't set the season back too far. Today we did manage to get Wisconsin fishing licenses for ourselves and the Better Half. On the way back, we saw a pair of sandhill cranes looking for a nesting spot. Spring--we're gettin' there, but bearly so.

Each year


                  I snap the twig to try to trap
the springing and I relearn the same lesson.
You cannot make a keepsake of this season. 
Your heart’s not the source of that sort of sap,
lacks what it takes to fuel, rejects the graft,
though for a moment it’s your guilty fist 
that’s flowering. You’re no good host to this
extremity that points now, broken, back at
the dirt as if to ask are we there yet.
You flatter this small turn tip of a larger 
book of matches that can’t refuse its end,
re-fuse itself, un-flare. Sure. Now forget
again. Here’s a new green vein, another
clutch to take, give, a handful of seconds.


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