Apples To Be

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Will there be enough sun? Enough rain? Will there be another frost? Will the bees visit?

Even though answers to these questions dictate whether their ultimate disposition is fruitful, or to become fertilizer, or both, it’s doubtful that these buds are concerned at all.

They’ve waited seasons to soften and protrude from their winter stem, unwaveringly hopeful, resolved to grow toward their fate, whether conditions are agreeable or not.

An old story says that a rabbit saw a worm climbing the trunk of a tree in early Spring. The tree was standing near the last bit of snow, wearing limbs still barren from Winter. “To eat an apple” replied the worm when the rabbit asked where he was going. “There are no apples up there.” remarked the rabbit. “There will be by the time I make my way up to the branches.” the worm replied with confidence.

Daffodils

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Finally – color in the yard!

Daffodils have burst out seemingly everywhere, abundant buds, near and far, tinge branch tips pale green and rust, wild Trout lilies underfoot on forest trails will blossom soon.

Much going on these days: the Lyrid meteor shower which began earlier this week is expected to peak just before dawn on Monday, 22nd April, which happens to be Earth Day. Check The Wanderlist for several opportunities to be kind to our Mother Earth this weekend. Cleanups are scheduled for several areas, or learn about recycling and composting at Salt Springs Park. Quietly immerse yourself in local beauty from on high and enjoy a wonderful hike to Stillwater Cliffs with the Studio Be crew.

For those of us who dwell here on The Hill and rarely range far from it, it’s pretty difficult to not be awed by Nature no matter the season – all one needs to do is walk slowly with open eyes. Those of us whose usual environment is dominated by sidewalks and streets may have to make a bit more effort – maybe enjoying flowers in a window box, trees in a park, birds sweeping by, stars over head.

Regardless of where we find ourselves, it’s prudent and beneficial to remember that we are products of this Earth. Observing and revering the change and rhythm of the seasons makes us calmer, happier, and healthier.

Spring Storm

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A seventy-plus degree day earlier this week awakened Spring. The grass is showing true green, buds are prominent on the trees, snowdrops and other early flowers have risen.

Last evening, distant rumbles encouraged me to leave work and get home. On the way, very few, but very large drops of rain hurried my commute through the yard. By the time I got inside and turned to look out the window, the sky had opened up, and lightening was crashing close, flickering the lights.

The first real electrical storm of the season seems to have broken cold’s grip. Though the forecast for this week continues to be wet and cool, there is now faith that the next warm day will compel even more plants to burst through the soil.

The storm further eroded the still bountiful snowpack on Elk, and coaxed a soft white cloud, the evaporation of last season’s runs, to gently float back to the heavens.

South Knob

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Just ninety feet lower than the North Knob, the South Knob of Elk Mountain witnesses the change in seasons quietly. Entirely on private land, the folks who own the South Knob insist that it be left unvisited, remaining a refuge for game.

Logging is accomplished with proper management techniques. After only a couple of years, the forest near the South Knob summit is already renewing, yet still shows patches of snow where trees had been judiciously harvested.

In the days of horse and carriages, folks would trek nearly to the top of the South Knob to picnic at “The Ledges”. Many, many years ago when the forests on both the North and South Knobs were clear-cut to the summit, it is said that one could see the Delaware wind gap.

Now, obscured by trees, these views are no longer available even if one knew where to go. Erosion has obscured the rocks that make up the spot that was once visited by picnickers, lovers, and as local folklore has it Ulysses S. Grant.

Flashier, larger, and more urbane then the South Knob, the North Knob attracts skiers, hikers and nature lovers with wide trails and easy access to magnificent summit views.

The South Knob, the more demure sister, maintains her private life, keeps her secrets, offers an homage to times past.