Ever Vernal Endless Landscapes

“Oh, grassy glades! oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye, — though long parched by the dead drought of the earthy life, — in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover; and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal on them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life…”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

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Early spring in northern New England: Every day, something new might emerge: frog eggs in the vernal pool; spring ephemerals, as we call these lovely, woodsy, short-lived flowers that come along just when our senses are parched for lack of colour and scent, and disappear without a trace; leafy tree-shaped promises of summer to come; ferns unfurling; snakes basking; newly born insects and butterflies; birds on their way and birds here to stay for a bit; a 70F day followed in minutes by an inch or two of snow.

Just in the last couple of weeks, in the woods and bogs nearby, near the lake, and in the garden:

7 April

8 April

coltsfoot
coltsfoot

13 April

crocus buds
crocus buds

14 April

crocuses
crocuses
ground beetle
ground beetle
cowbird
cowbird

15 April

most of garter snake
most of garter snake

17 April

hermit thrush
hermit thrush

18 April

sedum
sedum
pasque flower
pasque flower

19 April

white-throated sparrow
white-throated sparrow

20 April

garter snake
garter snake

21 April

bloodroot
bloodroot
vegetable garden with some seeds planted
vegetable garden with some seeds planted

22 April

loons
loons
male goldfinch
male goldfinch
female goldfinch
female goldfinch
pine siskin
pine siskin
chipping (?) sparrow
chipping (?) sparrow
mourning dove
mourning dove
hairy woodpecker
hairy woodpecker

23 April

frog eggs, close
frog eggs, close
bee-like fly on leaves
bee-like fly on leaves
white trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) flowers and foliage
white trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) flowers and foliage
most of a garter snake
most of a garter snake
pink trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) flowers
pink trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) flowers
frog eggs and maple blossoms
frog eggs and maple blossoms
probably a spring azure butterfly in flight
probably a spring azure butterfly in flight
mourning cloak butterfly
mourning cloak butterfly
bluets
bluets

24 April

marsh marigolds in bud
marsh marigolds in bud
weeping 'Jade' crabapple starting to leaf out
weeping ‘Jade’ crabapple starting to leaf out
hellebore bloom
hellebore bloom
fritillaria meleagris in bloom
fritillaria meleagris in bloom

25 April

cinnamon fern
cinnamon fern

26 April

white-throated sparrow in snow
white-throated sparrow in snow
vegetable garden in snow
vegetable garden in snow
leafing-out weeping 'Jade' crabapple in snow
leafing-out weeping ‘Jade’ crabapple in snow

27 April

lilac bud
lilac bud
red squirrel
red squirrel
garlic and a couple daffodils
garlic and a couple daffodils
fritillaria uva vulpis
fritillaria uva vulpis
chives
chives
white-breasted nuthatch
white-breasted nuthatch
dandelion
dandelion
new leaves of European ginger
new leaves of European ginger

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As Melville says, may we roll like young horses in new morning clover and feel the cool dew of life, in all seasons.

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