Saturday, May 1, 2010
Big Sky Country
After leaving NC in the peak of a spring explosion of color, I've been going backwards in time, with spring going to earlier stages as I headed north. I'm now in the big sky country of South Dakota where spring is just beginning. The cottonwood trees are coming out, lilacs will be in bloom later this week and the little Pacque flowers are blooming low to the ground. The pheasants are busy working to attract mates and robins are building nests.
My mom sent me this quote from the Klinkenburg from the New York Times describing his time in Wyoming - it resonates here:
"It is, to use an old word, a viridescent day. The cottonwoods stopped moaning in the rain overnight. Every creature is suddenly addled with the season. A pair of sandhill cranes stand motionless against the hills. A bald eagle circles higher and higher. A tom turkey works the fence line, making Kabuki moves, his eye on some invisible hen. The deer are trapped in their winter coats, looking disreputable. The air is full of the ticking of red-winged blackbirds, full of the soft spring sun."
I was out taking my usual sniffing rounds when I picked up a scent I've never smelled before. Holy cow! I pointed and then followed it - head down, tail up. It got more intense... all of a sudden, this colorful bird exploded out of the brush! I've flushed my first pheasant!