Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Broken Promises

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) (1 of 6).jpg
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

John and I visited the mill ruins on April 28 and I promised myself that I would return to photograph the skunk cabbage before a week was out. It's been 3 weeks and they are too old now. I have read and seen photographs of a stage of skunk cabbage growth that is so gorgeous I wanted to make a special hike to capture it. You can view photographs from Ontario that show this.  And now, writing this, I realize that by April 28 I had already missed the beautiful purple stage. Next year!

Horse Tail (1 of 2).jpg
Field Horsetail Equisetum arvense)

Every single spring, I promise myself to document the life cycle of field horsetail. There is this brown stage and then there is a green stage. I don't understand how horsetail morphs from one stage to the other. This year I shall!

Bluebead Lily fruit (3 of 3).jpg
Fruit of the blue-bead lily (Clintonia borealis)

It took me years to identify this blue fruit in the woods that I saw every summer. Two summers ago we identified it and I promised myself, last summer, that I would find the tiny yellow lily that produces this blue bead. This year!

Interrupted Fern fiddleheads  April 28 2011 (2 of 2).jpg
Interrupted fern fiddleheads (Osmunda claytoniana)

In 2008 I published almost the complete life cycle of the interrupted fern. You can click here to see the series. I promised myself to finish it. I never did. This year!

Dead apple tree in the bog (1 of 1).jpg
Dead apple tree in the beaver bog.

Last summer I promised myself that I would get out into the bog more often to explore. I never did. And I have even more urgent needs to go this year. Hawks were eating birds in the bog near where this tree is. John, using binoculars, said they ate a red-winged blackbird. I worry that they ate the mallard hen because just before the hawk perched on a dead tree and began ripping the bird up, the mallard drake chased the hawk out of the water. It was a violent flight for both of the birds. I have not seen mother duck since that morning. This year, I will go exploring more often!

That's a lot of broken promises. If I were to spend some time going through photographs, I would find more. It's time I fulfilled those promises. This year!



  1. love the color..!

  2. You both are so kind. And you both are awesome poets, which puts me in awe. Thank you for coming.


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