June temperatures seesaw between the forties and the nineties, confusing both tomatoes and peas in the garden. Now as summer solstice arrives, warmth stays. Peonies, iris, daisies,comfrey—all flowers that stand on stalk or tumble on vine, outdo themselves as solstice approaches. Mountain Laurel surrounds the lake, the hummingbirds sip, and we’ve begun summer rituals, visiting the local beaches and walking acrosss the Bridge of Flowers. Summer begins.
kids dive and shout
a fish bit me
watch out– a snake
hey– let’s swim to the rock
the buzz of bumble bees
doing the impossible
stuffing themselves into
each blossom head first
a quiet plop
the frog disappears
when the turtle
slips off the rock
the change from day to dusk
when the cicadas pack up shop
and crickets take over the night
and like teenagers
for no good reason
except it’s summer
we’ll fall in love a little bit
Much thanks to Ron Harton, Editor of Nature Writing, www.naturewriting.com, for publishing Maria Elena in Brooklyn this week, June 20, and Vernal Pool the following week.
NatureWriting is an online magazine for readers and writers of nature writing featuring Poems, Essays, and Journals.
The first violets and bloodroot have opened. Fragrant Trailing Arbutus covers the hill. Blackflies and bumblebees are newly arrived. Moss Brook still flows fast and the vernal pool contains more life each day. Welcome May!
She murmurs softly
wipes your arms and face with
a cool damp washcloth
She will glaze your parched lips
with oil, hold warm lemon
tea for you to sip
She’ll comb out knots
as you rest on the pillow
thread her needle with your hair,
carefully mending holes
in your delicate fabric
Published orginally April 2017 in Red Poppy Review.
Photograph of fairies visiting Delectable Mountain in Brattleboro Vt,
Gratitude to Poppy Road Review for publishing a new poem, the Healer…. and here’s the link: https://poppyroadreview.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-healer-by-elaine-reardon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+PoppyRoadReview+(Poppy+Road+Review. Yes, there are a couple stories in this short poem.
Does anyone know where my favorite tipsy angel is from?
Today I woke to find five large wood frog egg masses and two small egg masses. While the Easter rabbit didn’t visit, the Easter Frog left many eggs, and I share them here with you. I think this vernal pool is for the more elite frog, andthe other vernal pool where the deer drink and play is more of a tumble down neighborhood. So far the frogs have wisely avoided it for leaving eggs. I was worried when the deer splashed in, \that they’d trample the amphibians, but that’s a story for another day. The water is crystal clear, and in the center bottom of the first photograph you’ll find a small curved egg mass. Then see how many egg masses you find in the next photographs.
This stick has four larger egg masses attached to it, two are deeper in the water, and two float on the top. The water is about two feet deep.
Vernal pools have low oxygen, no fish, and usually are dry by the end of the year. Life is etheral, brief and always interesting. I always hope for lots of spring rain or snow melt, so pools start off deep, so eggs have enough time to hatch. While new life grows here, fro insect larvae to fairy shrimp, it’s a also a place that predators will visit as a food source, as well as for a drink.
Happy Easter. Hope you enjoy hunting for the egg masses!
Remember the Italian movie with this name? All the fabulous Italitian food? The Big Night around here is about amphibians. It’s about the salamanders and frogs kicking up their heels… and tonight may be the Big Night in this neighborhood. Imagine, if you will, frogs dressed in their finery, tucking into a bowl of pasta, then tossing back a few, to get them in the mood.
Also imagine a night of pouring rain, temperatures above freezing, and quiet carloads of people lurking on wet unlit country roads, near swamps, ponds, and any bit of wetness. They all hold flashlights and shiver in the cold wetness. Yep, that’s the big night!
Lucky for me, I have a ringside seat. I don’t have to creep around on dark wet country roads. A vernal pool is between my house and Moss Brook. Yesterday temperatures hovered in the low eighties, although we still have snow on the ground. It was strange to wear a tee shirt and sandals, and therefore not be able to walk through the snow covered half of the yard. However, the vernal pool was free of snow and ice, and I snapped a few photos. The wood frogs began to call in the late afternoon, one by one.
Now i’ts raining. I think tonight they’ll be a lot of amphibians celebrating an kicking up their heels!