The Arts of Spring

Rockport, Texas City Cemetery ~ March 7

 

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
                                      “The Enkindled Spring”  ~  D.H. Lawrence

 

 

 

Comments always are welcome..

May Babies

Female black-bellied whistling duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) and ducklings

The first time I noticed this mother duck, she was resting on a bank at the Lafitte’s Cove pond on Galveston Island with all seven of her ducklings tucked beneath her wings.

After a time, as she led them to the water for a swim, the father arrived to stand guard while they splashed, chased one another, and fed on the greens just under the surface of the water.

I found it hard to photograph the active ducklings in a single group because of their constant scattering and diving, but even a single duckling makes a worthy subject, especially when it seems to have crowned itself Queen (or perhaps King) of the May.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

Poetic Praise For Pyrrhopappus

Texas’s native “dandelion” ~ Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus

 

The Dandelion’s pallid tube
Astonishes the Grass,
And Winter instantly becomes
An infinite Alas —
The tube uplifts a signal Bud
And then a shouting Flower, —
The Proclamation of the Suns
That sepulture is o’er.
                                                    
                              ~ Emily Dickinson

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

The Beauty of Bud Break

Last year’s tendril, this year’s growth

While vineyard owners worry and fuss, the wild grapes (Vitis spp.) twisted around old sheds and roadside fences begin their yearly cycle without assistance.

By early summer, their full-grown leaves will hide everything from windmill supports to trees. By late summer, their fruit — beloved of so many birds and other creatures — will have been simmered into jelly or crushed into wine for human consumption after the leaves have gone. 

The first sign of renewed growth, commonly known as bud break, is marvelous to behold. While not as obvious as spunky dandelions or vast fields of bluebonnets, the tiny buds emerging from their vine are equally delightful.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

An Unexpected Gap

Crossing into spring

 

Reaching high into the air, this long, slender branch from what appears to be an elm tree caught my attention because of its bridge-like curve, and the lovely, green glow of its leaves against the sky.

As so often happens, enlarging the photo revealed an additional, amusing detail: a gap in the neat procession of growth where one bud had failed to open. Was it sleeping? Just a little lazy? Perhaps it was protesting Spring’s arrival, or had been prevented from opening by some external force.

Whatever the cause, the gap among the leaves recalls these words of Annie Dillard, from Pilgrim At Tinker Creek:

The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound.
The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells that the wind lances through: the icy, narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery.
Go up into the gaps if you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock — more than a maple — a universe.

 

Comments always are welcome.