25 April 2015

Unfolding - Missoula, Montana

“… The Hawthorn whitens; and the juicy Groves
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy Forest stands displayed,
In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales...”
- From 'The Seasons:Spring' by James Thomson (1700-1748)

24 April 2015

More Primrose - Missoula, Montana

“…Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup;
And primrose in its 
purfled green swathed up, ...
O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,
And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng
The vernal world, and unexhausted seas
Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,
Each and all of these,--and more, and more than these!”

- From ‘In A Spring Grove’ by William Allingham (1824-1889)

23 April 2015

Thumbelina Tulip - Missoula, Montana

"“It is a beautiful flower,” said the woman, and she kissed the red and golden-colored leaves, and while she did so the flower opened, and she could see that it was a real tulip. Within the flower, upon the green velvet stamens, sat a very delicate and graceful little maiden. She was scarcely half as long as a thumb, and they gave her the name of “Thumbelina,” or Tiny, because she was so small. A walnut-shell, elegantly polished, served her for a cradle; her bed was formed of blue violet-leaves, with a rose-leaf for a counterpane. " - From 'Thumbelina', by Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875)

22 April 2015

Tiny Pine - Missoula, Montana

“Pick up a pinecone and count the spiral rows of scales. You may find eight spirals winding up to the left and 13 spirals winding up to the right, or 13 left and 21 right spirals, or other pairs of numbers. The striking fact is that these pairs of numbers are adjacent numbers in the famous Fibonacci  series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Here, each term is the sum of the previous two terms. The phenomenon is well known and called phyllotaxis. Many are the efforts of biologists to understand why pinecones, sunflowers, and many other plants exhibit this remarkable pattern." - Stuart Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

21 April 2015

Spring-Sticky Greens - Missoula, Montana

My gardening-genius sister of the far northern city has been collecting aged horse manure after work - trowel scoop by trowel scoop, into large plastic bags carefully placed in her car trunk. (Yes, with patience being a virtue and all, she’s got a head start toward saintliness of some sort.) Last week, she texted something about metaphorical teaspoons and a photo of a sunset-silhouetted mountain of manure, with her comparatively teeny tiny car in the foreground. Her garden’s really going to be great this year.

Today she texted that our horse-whispering cousin’s new acreage has "singing frogs in the slough, ribbet ribbet",  (insert happy froggy emoticon) which made me think firstly, ’It’s such a Canadian thing to have fond thoughts of a slough.’ And nextly, ‘Surely, there exists a Canadian ode to spring-singing slough frogs?!’

Thoughts such as this are why Google is my Home screen.

I discovered that Lord de Tabley wrote, according to ‘The Living Age, Volume 270’, “…a charming set of interlinked sonnets to the frogs that sing unceasingly from early spring to harvest-time in every lake and pond and secret slough from end to end of Canada.“ Here’s my favourite find; may your very own memory spring to mind.

“Wrinkled oaks and plumy bracken,
Milkwort, skull-cap, sweet gale-bush,

Frog-pipe, more than you can reckon,
Cotton grass and flowering rush…”
- from ‘The Dirge of Day’, Lord de Tabley (1835-1895)

20 April 2015

Saturday Railyard - Missoula, Montana

"As a child I found railroad stations exciting, mysterious, and even beautiful, as indeed they often were." - Paul Johnson

19 April 2015

Tinned Nostalgia - Missoula, Montana

For the easily distracted of a certain age, detouring down the arts and crafts aisle at a local pseudo-superstore - popped into after work for just 3 things - translates to 'dinner may not be a wholesome 4-food group affair'. Because the artsy 'toys' of our childhood are comeback kings (no surprise, since our persistent wheedling and begging made them legends the first time around) & they are distraction ready.
My adult self with money in pocket resisted the impulse buy inclination of my inner child (who already spent her allowance). Instead, I 'shared' the nostalgia moment via a snap texted to my sis who has some impressive Spirograph  creations on her resume (the one that earned her an imaginary corner window office with sign on the desk of 'Best Youngest Big Sister').
And I still made it home in time to throw together some chips and salsa for supper. (That's still 2 food groups, right?)