Thursday, April 30, 2015

Suspended Spring

Friday morning, April 24, all signs point to a revocation of the sweet weather week. It's thirty-nine degrees at the gates of Halibut Point, overcast and blustery. My favorite warbler-watching spot on the quarry cliff is bound to be inhospitable.
Yellow-rumped warbler
Warm days mean comfort not just for me but for bugs. Bugs bring birds. Birds go after them in aerial pirouettes I can only guess at. I hope to catch them in still moments between sorties on unobstructed  perches. Yesterday the still air allowed some satisfying portraits.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Today winds on the cliff are gusting to 25mph. The aerialists are grounded or elsewhere. The usual bird sounds are obliterated or absent. The kibitzers must be camping in leeward canopies.

Hermit thrush
On the entrance path where I'd seen the hermit thrush yesterday oak leaves skitter along in a series of false bird alerts. A towhee pweets indistinctly above the roar, without its usual confidence, opting for respectability over retreat.

Solitary mallard
The only bird visible is a mallard drake waiting forlornly for companionship at the edge of the quarry. Usually a troupe of his kind fly in for the day. The pewtered sky entirely fails to glorify his iridescent head.

Shad, budding 
Shad blossoms have suspended their unfurling in the chilly air. Their whiteness succumbs to the dull tones around them. But they swell as runners do at the starting line, on their mark, getting set.

At the shoreline the panorama is unfailingly grand. The ocean and the exfoliating granite flow together in the half tide.  Under-saturated colors mute the patterns.

I meander on a second loop around the quarry. The moors and side trails through the woods are  deserted, like showing up at the office on Sunday morning, the furniture in place but no one there. It's eerie but the calendar assures you of companionable events.
The advances of spring follow neither art nor science. They get there all the same.

The wind performs a beneficent service, blows the gray away. During my second loop around the quarry the sun comes out. When I return to the shoreline color gratifies the view.
Red maple blossom
High clouds provide the perfect light to enjoy the complexities of a red maple blossom. I expect the cool weather will keep those adornments fresh longer than usual.
Goldfinch and aspen blossom
The emergent flowers of a big-tooth aspen sense the moment to procreate, tied in to the sustenance of a goldfinch. Life goes on.

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