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Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Darling Little Breeze


That’s what there was early this morning, and woven into it was birdsong and perfume of fresh-cut hay and summer's first blooming milkweeds, sweetest floral bouquet I know. The sun was already warming the air at 7:30, but the breeze was soft, gentle, cool, and the whole Up North world still seemed refreshed after Friday night’s thunderstorm. I'll admit that I was refreshed after Saturday evening's time-out in the hammock and a good night's sleep afterward.


Cherries are ripening, fields being cut so hay can be raked and baled. Besides alfalfa, though, many other leguminous plants are flowering these days, modestly performing their nitrogen-fixing miracle as there were nothing to it. With eighteen thousand species in this family, their variety should be no surprise. Here are just a few from my early morning weekend walks and drives, these from field, orchard and roadside.







Sometimes the green of summer reminds me of winter's white expanses, in that the camera is confronted with an almost monochromatic landscape. Looking for the color, I move in closer, and that reminds me that I promised to post a link to a photography contest on a blog from Nova Scotia. If you've never before yearned to visit the Maritime Provinces, "Flandrum Hill" will plant that desire in your heart. Entering the contest requires that you post (details here) five images to correspond, either literally or metaphorically, to the "Five Elements" Earth, Water, Fire, Wood and Metal.

As it turned out, the book of the day on Saturday at Dog Ears Books was definitely Jim Harrison’s In Search of Small Gods. It seemed to call out to everyone who passed the table, and so far the feedback is everything I expected. This is my favorite of all Jim’s books, ever, so I'll close today's post with a few lines:
This small liquid mouth in the forest
is called a spring, but it is really
a liquid mouth that keeps all of the secrets
of what has happened here, speaking in the unparsed
language of water, how the sky was once closer
and a fragment of a burned-out star boiled its water.
-- from the poem "Spring" in the book In Search of Small Gods, by Jim Harrison

7 comments:

Gerry said...

It's a fine thing to go for a virtual ramble with you and Jim Harrison. Reminds me of watching Charles Kuralt on CBS Sunday Morning.

Anonymous said...

Can I get a bit of that yellow sweet pea from you to transplant into my own yard? It's....gorgeous, as are all of your flowers, but that one -- what a surprise!

flandrumhill said...

Is the yellow a close-up of Birdsfoot Trefoil?

The Vetch is my favorite for all the different shades of blue and purple within such a small flower.

Thank you for mentioning the scavenger hunt :) There's still a week to go before the deadline of July 20th.

P. J. Grath said...

The yellow--yes, birdsfoot trefoil. There are patches of it along M-22.

A short but great ramble early this afternoon--posting when I get the chance!

Anonymous said...

Ah, thank you for clarifying the identity of the yellow flower. I will see if I can spade a bit into a bucket from the roadside.

P. J. Grath said...

Check out this site first:
http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_loco6.pdf

P. J. Grath said...

INVASIVE ALERT!!!
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/birdsfoottrefoil.html