Sunday 9 March 2014. Spring Forward!

Today was the day we gave back the hour we gained in the fall, thereby initiating the season of “Daylight Savings Time.” Do they do this in other countries? I’m not convinced its benefits outweigh the disruption it causes, but perhaps the awareness it brings is a benefit. Maybe it’s a good example of how pleasure (“fall back”) and pain (“spring forward”) are inextricably linked. Or at least that time, unlike money but like matter and energy, is, at least some sense, conserved.

So got started a little late, according to the clock, almost 7; the sun also was conveniently “behind schedule.” The temperature was 27 degrees F, the sky clear.

Destination for this time-limited trip was Meadowbrook Park! Was eager as always, even more today having missed last week and the streets being, for all practical purposes, completely clear, not counting the potholes.

The first messages from life outside my front door were the earnest songs of cardinals and a faint but distinct scent of skunk. Don’t remember this as a sign of spring, but maybe it has to do with the skunks’ pent up longing for spring in this hard winter. The smell got stronger as I pedaled southward but then faded again as I continued toward Meadowbrook. So the skunk is in the neighborhood! Heard somewhere that “skunks are the new squirrels,” though fortunately they aren’t nearly as good at climbing or leaping.

Got a shot of the apple tree and its few remaining,

tiny, very weathered apples. Also noticed plenty larger, not so far-gone ones on the ground. Soon it will be time to let them be and watch for new growth.

A nice large red sun disc was visible above the horizon just as I got to Meadowbrook. Got a shot of it behind the metal sculpture of two suns rising (which makes me think: “sunrise on Tattooine,” though with the actual sun it was more like a threesome.)

McCullough/Davis creeks were high,

20140314-133735.jpgwith a partial skin of ice. Could hear from the rabbit statue bridge the sound of many gathered red-winged blackbirds, practicing all the variations of their call, all together, like an orchestra warming up, when you can hear different instruments playing little phrases from different parts of the piece at the same time.

Got a shot of one of the RWBBs at the top of a tree, greeting the rising sun.

The temperature was not especially warm, but something in the air felt stirring, a little exciting, hinting at the irrepressible approaching spring, like an adventurous friend inviting conspiracy: “C’mon!” And memories of seasonal wonders beheld in this place awakened and beckoned.

Passed a place where there had been lots of lichens earlier in the winter and noticed they were now much less abundant. Don’t know what governs

the ebb and flow of lichen life, but thought maybe the deer had been eating them.

Was grateful to once again be able to take in the winter prairie and be moved by it. Gave in to the urge to stop and take a photo of weathered Baptisia pods. Thought, “I brake for Baptisia pods.” There’s something compelling about those spikes of dangling halves of empty seed pods that rattle in the wind.

Got a shot of lichens on the trunk of a large cottonwood near the (closed) Windsor/Vine bridge. Seemed like there were more orange ones than earlier in the season. Need to watch one little spot over time, some day.

Feeling eager, though not (yet!) impatient, to greet the spring.


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