Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Out Standing in my Field

A photo of a bumble bee on some Cow Vetch. The field is really coming alive with wildflowers. The former owners mowed the field every year with a brush hog and not much grew there last year. I spread some wildflower seeds Monday to encourage even more variety. If I start to get trees and shrubs where I don't want them, I'm remove them selectively rather than just mowing everything. I'm not a big fan of mowing where there's no real reason. Back when I first retired I spent the first summer taking walks along the country roads around where I lived and photographing the wild flowers along them with my first digital camera, an Olympus 4040. Part way through the summer I discovered that the sides of the road had been mowed by the town highway department and wrote this:

In The Shadow of a Goose

Two weeks ago there were wildflowers
on the shoulder of this country road,
and as I walked along that day I stopped to photograph
Queen Ann’s Lace, Mayweed, and Bladder Campion.

Purple clusters of Vetch and
pink trumpet blooms of Bindweed
climbed the tall grasses
reaching for the sun.

Then the highway department came through,
a big tractor pulled a huge mower
that cut anything smaller than your thumb
leaving in its wake a mass of mangled green.

Now, the grass is getting tall again,
almost as tall as it was, and ragweed is thriving,
but the wildflowers are gone from the roadside.
It’s neater now, everything the same height and all green.

The wildflowers are still in bloom of course,
just over the fence, in the farmer’s field.
Here on the public right of way,
things are neat and orderly, not wild.

Off to my right a dozen or so geese rise from a wetland.
They fly across the road, between me and the sun.
The shadow of a goose passes over me,
over the fence and over the wildflowers in the field.

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