Friday, April 12, 2013

April Reflections
1.  Lilacs

Lavender cascade from white porcelain
Set upon embroidered cloth
Sweetness fills the air with sunlight
Fragrance opening a door
To the rooms and faces I have known
Frame houses and wheat fields showing first green
Dark lacquered parlors on a Sunday afternoon
Loving voices speaking, smiling, gesturing with their hands
Beyond the windows, Great lilac hedges outpour extravagance
“Take some” – “Take all you can use” – “They won't last long”

Lilacs in blossom
Another time
Traffic scene - Jostling sidewalk
Two dollars a bunch
Don't touch, Buy this one

Sedate clusters
Four perfect petals
They offer a way that I cannot pass
But I relish being tantalized!

J. Zlatnik 1992

Spring is a sequence of one grand flowering after the next - these are 6 foot tall Tower of Jewels
2. April Sex : It is the season of extreme anxiety for the nervous male mocking bird in my backyard.  He flies the perimeter of his territory eyeing any interlopers.  The sweet music he sings is a statement to all who can hear...”This space is taken, and this is where my mate and I will have our nest and raise our young... everybody else stay out.”  He sings without rest – and he get easily irritated as the time of nesting comes near... He fears that some jerk Mockingbird may try to pick up ‘his cute female’.

Water birds - some migratory - some who stay...gathering to find a mate!

Regular as clockwork – as night comes on the frogs take over.  So tiny, yet so expressive.  I suppose if I were a little girl frog I would fall head over heals in love with the froggy with the loudest voice and head in that direction. I am no expert in frog language but I think that they feel very urgently about their message.

Wind flow is also complicated by flowing over a turning Earth - Coriolis Effect..
3. Spring Wind: When the cold wind blows and the wild oats are as high as my head, great surges of passing air force each oat stalk in the field to submit as the gust passes through– The oats respond in smooth rhythmic waves– the wind is made perfectly visible with each passing blast.

Wind is rare in this location – When wind first starts to blow it is exhilarating – but when it continues it makes me feel edgy– especially cold north wind does.  I feel like the mockingbird – I get irritated by it and want it to stop.  Wind happens when air masses move into position so that a cold dense air mass is adjacent to a warmer low density air mass... its just like a tire pump with high pressure air on the inside and lower pressure air on the outside – the air flows from high pressure to low... wind continues until the pressure is equalized or the air masses move apart.

Field of ripened wild oats
4.  Wild Oats: It is the time for oats to transition from green to tawny –It is the season of seed ripening, they break free and, trailing their wings, they travel like little darts – traveling distances from the mother plant...There they must wait through the long days of heat and extreme dryness Some will survive the hungry mice, mourning doves,  and other nibbely  critters until the rains of next fall. Wild oats are not a California native but were introduced from Europe during the time of the great California Rancheros, from the early Spanish when California was part of Mexico.  It is a classic case of an exotic plant that has crowding out native grasses because they fit so will in this niche.

Green wild oats
5.  Ants - Our winter has been a bust... all the rain in January - February – March wouldn’t fill a teacup... the soil is dry and dusty –and people have to water their plants to keep them alive.   And the end of the season is at hand – no more rain until next November...  I was noticing that ants have become quite rare lately – and I wonder if this is due to the lack of moisture. I was quite excited today to see a colony and realized how they have virtually disappeared.     We have had no ant invasions in our home for two years now...  Why? is it the dryness or something else...? Everybody can do informal research - and this is a topic that I will be watching... ( its not that I have any love for these pesky insects, but any chance in pattern like this is of interest... )