April 6, 2013
Rain, thank goodness. Melting the old snow. Mallard hens are waddling about on lawns looking for nesting sites. Robins were here all winter, thanks in part to the infamous European buckthorn berries. Rabbits will be gestating in fur-lined beds. The ground is thawing and fragile. Good time not to walk in your garden. April is my favorite month. Also poetry month, and the cruelest month. To me it seems like the shortest month. Several of my best friends were born in April, including my sister.
My friend Gar is going turkey hunting for the first time on April 21 with a MN DNR mentored youth turkey hunt. Thanks to Mike Kurre. He’s 16 and just got his firearm safety certification. Congratulations, Gar! Some people think firearm safety should be taught in schools. Bowling and archery are, why not firearm safety? We know that learning about firearm safety does not promote firearm violence, any more than sex education promotes sexual activity. Although it is spring, and sex is what we’re supposed to be doing. Well, even if that’s not happening, you could at least try to be optimistic.
One of my favorite aspects of April is the air. April is full of wonderful air. I’m a great connoisseur of air. I’m out there pleasure-breathing. Good exercise, too. Early-spring is my favorite, preferably from the north; blown down from the Canadian taiga, full of wilderness with scents of pine forest and thawing lakes. I wish my nose was bigger, so I could smell more of what’s on the breeze. I’ve always admired people with large noses. Do you know that smells are carried by particulate matter? When a dog follows a trail, they are breathing in microscopic particulate matter left behind by the animal or person they’re following. That’s inspiring. Fun then, to work the old sniffer when you’re out in the woods, pay attention to smells and air movement, follow your nose off-trail, across the breeze, looking for sign, who goes here, who lives here? Wonder what we’ll find as the snow disappears and last fall’s secret lies revealed in the rain.
February 6, 2013
We’ve been having a few days of perfect light snow. It’s beautiful at night to see falling snow sparkling in the ambient light. Rabbits appear magically in the dark and romp around eating my rose bushes. The crows are happy. I kept a bag of fat from the doe that graciously gave herself to me this fall, and threw it out into the yard. The crows have been daily visitors. They dig through a few inches of snow, and if it gets too deep I kick it aside for them. Crows carry the wilderness in their strut and caw. Watching them peck and tug at the frozen fat, and seeing their tracks in the snow makes me feel a little closer to the wild.
Today we warmed up to 27°. We’re supposed to hit 35° by Saturday. Spring is here! I don’t care what the calendar says, today the air smelled of earth and spring. Every year there’s a day in February when the air carries the scent, we notice the lengthening days, and you can feel our little spot on the globe (44.9800° N, 93.2636° W) roll toward the promise of spring. Today was that day this year.
My favorite winter months are February and March. With the (relatively) warm days, blue sky and those slab crappies practically jumping up out of little holes in the ice… man, that’s the stuff. When the end of winter is in sight for one more year, the snow-covered days become precious as they slip away. I get a bit nostalgic for the beauty of each season as it’s ending. The end of winter is in sight, long live winter.
December 18, 2012
As cold, hard winter finally sets in and cardinals become flickering signs of hot life in the frozen air, we gather around the crackling fire to drink gallons of boiling tea and tell the stories that we hope can help the sun rise just one more day, even if he does disappear into a seemingly endless string of murky dawns, we find the joy of being alive stirs anew, and also that we haven’t failed to pay for wild love with the sad, hard truth of our days, carved into our raggedy traveler’s hide as proof, a kind of love brand, even after that last horrific and horribly ironic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it morning, still we offer hot cup for this funny-looking roamer coming in to our fire, where he’ll warm his backside, bring new road news, old stories, and offer us a wedge of the orange he saved just to share from across the high mountain pass, now covered deep in snow and howling wind, we’ll listen with our hands loose and hearts softened as he sings of far-away love and distant trouble, twining his verses into ours to make the many-stranded, never-ending story of the search for home and how we made our way on that curly road.
In the morning, while you’re loading the sleds, you could check for new posts at the BWC Journal and the Movie Log.