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Looking for Morels, Which We Didn't Find

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh, the things you find when you go into the woods.

Looking for morels, which we didn't find

We found other things.
A whole new patch of pawpaws in a place I hadn't looked

Dangling bloody blossoms, calling flies to tickle and play

So that from this strange bell a fruit will form

Banana custard, pulp and seeds in a soft yellow skin.

We'll come back in September.

Looking for morels, which we didn't find

I stopped on a hillside to watch a cardinal build her nest

Followed her to a honeysuckle tangle
And there found a butterfly
never before seen on our land

The round rings on its wings rang a distant bell.
And there in the woods I combed the books of memory
Found the answer waiting, struggling up through the pages and the hard cover of time

A Harvester! Fenisecus tarquinius
Only the second seen in a life of looking for butterflies
And here! on our land, not one but two.

Its caterpillar, the only predaceous one, spurning leaves for aphids.

Number 73 for the property.

But I digress. Numbers are not poetry.

Walking a little farther along, the first turtle of spring
Frozen, watchful

I pretended not to see him. He never pulled in his head.
A victory, however small.

And farther along the same slope
I stop, become still
A crunch of leaves, almost inaudible
I focus like an owl on a spot yards away

Where the second turtle of spring
has drawn in its foot

That sound enough to betray its presence.

Its eye an angry garnet
Discovered but resolute.

Looking for morels, which we didn't find.

Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely. The word has been voted as one of the ten English words that were hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company--Wikipedia

"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind." Louis Pasteur

Harvester, Fenisecus tarquinus, #73 for Indigo Hill, Whipple, Ohio, April 26, 2009


What a wonderful day of discovery, Julie, and a lovely post to share it with us. Thank you!

I'll take box turtles over morels any day. Then again, maybe you discovered WHY you didn't find any morels...think those fellas et 'em?

You might not say that once you've had Zick's morels -- sauteed in a pan of butter and other secret ingredients and doled out warm and pungent before the sun comes up. Heaven in a slice of fungus.

This post makes me ache for home and the simple undiscovered beauty that exists just beyond the pale. That butterfly is a find! This post lifts me right up and out of this gray, sooty, damp city heaving on the cusp of winter. Thank you.

Your morel breakfast treat was mighty tasty, but not near as special as your day of serendipity with the gifts of butterfly blessings and box turtles.

Julie, what a beautiful sequence of photos and discoveries! You communicate the magic. I love the garnet turtle eye, and the small victory of not disturbing a shy creature. Thank you! My blog at This Lively Earth includes a few birding and natural history notes you might enjoy.


And so, the morel of this story is "Enjoy what you find, no matter what you seek"?


I love that word, serendipity, and loved the movie of the same name too. Of course, when one is looking on Indigo Hill, even if there are no morels for the day, there is always so much more to see. :c)

I've always liked that quote from Pasteur, "chance favors only the prepared mind" - in part because it is so true. Those who are prepared, see much, and are willing to share do both the earth and her children a great service.

Aiquing, I delete your idiotic runescape wow gold power leveling spambits every single time you post them. So stop. Just stop. My readers aren't gamers. Nobody's going to click on your links. Go away. Get out of my comments living room. You're ticking me off. As much as I love my readers, I hate you. And I'm too stubborn to moderate comments just for you, you aimless loser. Go parasitize yourself.

Thanks, Julie!

Do you have alders or beech on your property (for the Harvesters)?

I'm thinking the larvae must be eating wooly aphids on the beech, which is a dominant on the part of our property where I found the adult Harvesters. If there is alder in the little perched wetland where I found them, I haven't seen it.

LOVE the Pasteur quote- and your looking for morels!!
Indeed, not such a loss to discover turtles in springtime.

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