The Super Moon of May

I went for a walk last evening (alone, in the almost-dark), out in the park by my house. To the west, there was this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But to the east, the east in the evening, there was this glorious sight:

    It was more coral than my camera would catch. My iPhone was a little better at picking up the tint, but not so good with the details. The moon sifted itself between the scattered clouds,     

 

 

 

 

and silhouetted the branches of trees:

And as I sat by my open window, choosing photos, the horned owl came by to hoo-hoo plaintively in the tree. Shortly thereafter, in response to a siren in the distance, a lone coyote howled in a plangent fashion, and I thought of Richard Wilbur’s poem, “Beasts,” with which I shall leave you:

BEASTS

Beasts in their major freedom
Slumber in peace tonight. The gull on his ledge
Dreams in the guts of himself the moon-plucked waves below,
And the sunfish leans on a stone, slept
By the lyric water,

In which the spotless feet
Of deer make dulcet splashes, and to which
The ripped mouse, safe in the owl’s talon, cries
Concordance. Here there is no such harm
And no such darkness

As the selfsame moon observes
Where, warped in window-glass, it sponsors now
The werewolf’s painful change. Turning his head away
On the sweaty bolster, he tries to remember
The mood of manhood,

But lies at last, as always,
Letting it happen, the fierce fur soft to his face,
Hearing with sharper ears the wind’s exciting minors,
The leaves’ panic, and the degradation
Of the heavy streams.

Meantime, at high windows
Far from thicket and pad-fall, suitors of excellence
Sigh and turn from their work to construe again the painful
Beauty of heaven, the lucid moon
And the risen hunter,

Making such dreams for men
As told will break their hearts as always, bringing
Monsters into the city, crows on the public statues,
Navies fed to the fish in the dark
Unbridled waters.

– RICHARD WILBUR

(https://werewolf-news.com/2009/06/beasts-by-richard-wilbur/)

Adventures Outside the House During Our Time of Isolation

Yesterday I ventured forth farther a-field than I have for three weeks. I had an health appointment and my son agreed to take me so I wouldn’t have to take the bus (I don’t drive). I thought I would be excited to leave the house, but in truth I was mostly nervous. I looked up how to make a mask from a bandana and hair bands:

You can find instructions on how to make your own COVID-19 fashion statement here. I had a hard time getting the elastic bands to stay looped over my ears, so when I got home, I strung three together, before slipping the bandana through the end two, to allow the elastic to go around my head. I haven’t tried wearing it outside as I walk around yet, but I have high hopes it will stay in place a little better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way in, there were some cars, but many stretches of the road were almost empty.

We passed my favourite pond. There were two grey herons on it, a bird I hadn’t seen there before. I hope they’re nesting. Someone pointed out to me that the birds have been loving the quieter days and the cleaner air, and since then I have noticed that there are indeed more birds around than we’ve had for a while.

 

      After my appointment, we had a couple errands to run, one on the pedestrian mall. It was stunning to see how empty it was. The homeless folk had gathered primarily in one area, but most were keeping several yards apart from each other and talking about the pandemic.

I was surprised by how many restaurants were not limiting themselves to take out or curbside pick-up. Quite a number were open for business as more-or-less usual. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A NATIONAL SHUT-DOWN, PEOPLE. We can’t count on folks to stay away from each other if it isn’t mandated as a necessity.

There were few shoppers around; many of them were wearing scarves or masks. We looked like a small convention of highway robbers.

Because I’ve been cooped up at home, my son and I took the scenic route home. We saw trees just coming out of dormancy, still all bones, but not for long.*

There were some mountains, too.

Honestly, I feel as if the world has undergone such a cataclysm that I wasn’t sure the Rockies would still be there. It’s like living in one of those SciFi movies in which most of the population has been swept away by a plague and everyone is afraid of everyone else, but it’s not a movie.

Be careful out there, folks.

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* Winter trees remind me of the first and last verses of Theodore Roethke’s poem, “I Knew A Woman”:

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;   
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:   
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).
………………………………
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:   
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.   
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:   
(I measure time by how a body sways).
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43331/i-knew-a-woman)

 

The Peach Chronicles, Part II

Well, I am sure everyone had a sleepless night, worrying about the peach tree. I am pleased to offer a bit of good news: I think the lights may have worked! Take a look:

 

Not only do most of the blossoms that were there before seem to be there still, but there are even some new ones:

The foreseeable future offers some dips down to freezing temps, but no hard freezes. But then there’s the rest of April, squirrels (who literally will take one bite of a peach and then throw it as far as they can), bugs, birds…
Kinehora, all!

The Peach Tree Chronicles

The freezing rain came. It brought frost and snow in its wake. It coated the tree branches,

 

the hyacinths,

   

the miniature lilies and the crocuses.

 

And it showed no mercy to my beloved peach tree.

My only hope is the string of lights my son helped me wind through the tree.

        The rain and snow have let up. Tomorrow will still be cold, but a warming trend is on the way. However, there is more rain in the mid-range forecast, so stay tuned. More peach drama is sure to follow.

While We Wait

I’m not the Pollyanna type: my approach to life is more Pessimists are never disappointed. BUT — desperate times, desperate measures. So while we wait for this fearful virus to relent, I have been trying to remind myself that there are still some soul-lifting aspects to life. So I have been out with my camera*, taking photos of sunsets:

 

 

 

 

   

I have been tracking the moon:

             

and watching for the flowers to add colour to the world:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND — I have been chronicling the emergence of blossoms on our peach tree:

   

 

 

 

Our temperatures are about to drop into the twenties with rain and snow, so I am worried that after Friday, there will be no more blossoms, and no peaches later (though last time we had peaches, the wasps ate more than we did).

Stay tuned. I’ll update the state of the peach tree later. Stay well.

 

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*All the photos, like all the contents of this blog, are copyrighted to me.