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Full Many a Flower

Friday, May 4, 2007

This little bit of Ohio woodland was aglow with blossoms. I couldn't believe the richness. How had it escaped overgrazing, timbering, erosion--how had such a rich seedbank built up on this one bit of hillside?I felt like a pirate, running my hands through a treasure chest. Riches!!

A carpet of wood betony. My God!
Virginia waterleaf, not blooming, but with those leaves, who needs to bloom?
Blue phlox and red trillium, or wakerobin, or toadshade. Take your pick. They're all wonderful names.

As Trillium grandiflorum ages, it blushes.Thomas Gray's “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” sprang into my head, as fresh as it was in 1751:

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
For me, that was just it. I couldn't let this sweetness go to waste. Unseen flowers. It was too hard to bear, not to be able to share it. I started hatching a plan.
Speaking of flowers, blooming...Phoebe came running to see me when I finally came out of the woods.
She'd been hanging out with her friend Taylor, but she'd missed me. Oh, beautiful. Tried to frame out the darn portajohns, managed to in the first shot, but just had to get that smile in the second one..
There are always vultures around this churchyard. Here comes one now. I love this shot!
There's a big vulture roost--upwards of 60 birds--in a sycamore just across the road. Phoebe enjoys watching them from the school bus. Nobody seems to mind. Lord knows there are enough dead possums on the road to feed one to each bird. On our way home, we stopped and watched them gathering for the evening's socializing and slumber.

And I thought wildflowers were a hard sell...wonder if I could get the other moms over to see this? A girl can dream.
Writing from the New River Birding Festival at Fayetteville, WV, where I've been awake since 4 AM. I'll be helping a bunch of people try to spot their life golden-winged warbler this morning. Taking the kids on the field trips. They agreed they'd get up at 5 last's not looking so good this morning. Chet Baker's along, but he gets to sleep all morning, rolled in blankets. He met many of the festival participants (including Katdoc!) at the talk Jeff Gordon and I gave last night. There was a cookout. There were hamburgers and hot dogs, and dozens of people to meet and greet. The little Mayor of Opossum Creek was in his element.
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