Thursday, May 21, 2009

Square 6: Spring in an Ontario woods

Square 006

I am not enthralled with living in Southern Ontario. The summers are humid and oppressive, winters bitter and interminable. But come May 1 there is nowhere else on Earth I would rather be. Few beauties can surpass the awakening of our spring woodlands.

They are not grand. The land is mostly flat, so we lack scenic landscapes. A West Coast redwood would dwarf our most magnificent tree.

This is a beauty of small and sudden wonders: dogtooth violets and bloodroot open delicate blooms where nothing but dry leaves was visible yesterday, mummified branches shed their semblance of death and bear elusive fragrances in the warm sunlight, a shocking patch of marsh-marigolds floods a swampy clearing, overnight the twigs come alight with warblers in all their delicate and radiant plumage, and tree-lined galleries resonate with fruity songs of orioles and thrushes.

Then just as it begins, spring is over. Burgeoning maples shroud the understory in deep shade, the flowers fade, mosquitoes hold dominion and within a few weeks even the songs will vanish as birds avoid drawing attention to their clumsy fledglings.

But its ephemeral quality makes an Ontario spring all the more exquisite, and the rest of the year worth waiting through. Just don't be caught sleeping. This year I missed altogether the subtle blossoms of leatherwood and the not-so-subtle, lotus-like blooms of bloodroot. You have to make the choice to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy the Earth's great riches.

The Manos Del Uruguay wool yarn called "Wildflowers" was left over from a scarf I knitted several years ago, and the dark green Cascade suggests branches or shadows of trees.

No comments:

Post a Comment