Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Ramble - The Measure of Our Days

Nearing the end of June, trees on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are gloriously leafed out and vast swaths of woodland are as dark as night. Here and there are shadowy alcoves several degrees cooler than the sunlit fields skirting the woods. Cedar stumps in the forest are cloaked in lichens from top to bottom, crowned with tiny green saplings and dewy, sparkling mosses, every one a wonder and no two alike. The place is a green mansion, a sylvan sanctuary that seems to go on and on forever.

Beyond the woods, strands of wild clematis wrap around the old cedar rail fence by the main gate, and the silvery posts give off a fine dry perfume. Below are hawkweeds, buttercups and clovers, daisies, tall rosy grasses and ripening milkweed, several species of goldenrod, trefoils and prickly violet bugloss, all moved by the arid summer wind and swaying in place. Open areas of waving greenery have an oceanic aspect, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the masts of tall ships poking up here and there.

There are birds are everywhere, red-tailed hawks circling overhead, swallows and kingfishers over the river, bluebirds on the fence, rose-breasted grosbeaks dancing from branch to branch in the overstory and caroling their pleasure in the day and the season. I can't see them for the trees, but there are mourning doves cooing somewhere nearby.

Fritillaries and swallowtails flutter among the cottonwoods, never pausing in their exuberant flight or coming down to have their pictures taken. Dragonflies (mostly skimmers, clubtails and darners) spiral and swoop through the air, a few corporals among them for good measure.

I began this morning with the words "It is high summer". Then I remembered that the solstice has just passed by, and I went back and started again. And so it goes in the great round of time and the seasons . . . There are many golden days are to come, but we have stepped into the the languid waters that flow downhill toward autumn.

1 comment:

Jim Cummings said...

What a lovely litany of the season, and of the body of the land unfurling through it all. It is indeed high summer, which lasts for a few weeks now…..more a solstice season than a day….so slowly does the sun move along the horizon—and likewise ride high in the sky at midday—in the weeks before and after the magic moment of axial alignment with the solar heart.