Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring, not to be Denied

Sun-lovers move where the sun is daily present, even like a bonfire in the afternoon sky, or else bemoan every delay to the green season, even sometimes the rains that bring it on. A few of us, furry, scruffy, wolvish human beings disguised in a stack of shirts, knits and jackets, secretly delight in the shivering of the bare bushes even if we curse the sea-borne winds that bite our hands and make us grab gloves even in May, because a heat-baked outdoor scene to us is like a scream that won't stop sounding, we have to get away to where the sounds are fainter and movement slower and much more tentative. Still, we cold-weather types freeze and bend over or stand tall, awed by the springtime finds we make in nature, and by brisk encounters over our heads.

Yesterday, these wild cherry buds were breaking open, tight and yellow-green.

Nearby a noise overhead stopped me in my stride--a mechanical stutter like some hand-held tool of old with two moving parts, something small and steely and something heavier with a grinding clatter. One merlin, a small falcon extra-nimble like something shot and retracted from an elastic cord, was besieging a crow where the road led between trees and river's mouth. The crow made the low clatter, the falcon jingled. Apart and together, apart and back together, beyond me and off to the side, the siege continued for whatever hidden reasons, but antics and face-offs are a fit with the motives of spring, whatever they're about.

Later in the day, indoors in the call center, I was remembering hepaticas from last week-end, in woods an hour to the northwest, isolated blue-violet outbursts from brown ground barely offset by any first sprigs of green. The leaves would be removed from the flowering stalks, old-green with red tinges like the liver the plant is named for.

All these seem precursors to something else we're really waiting for, or other somethings in succession. Late as this season is, the main part of spring has yet to unfurl, but when it does we have a menu of items at our hands and feet. Here is a set of spring floral note cards for sending thoughts or for putting where they best fit.