Flickering flame, face
Black as soot, the cardinal
Flies north, points to spring.
At the vernal equinox, here in Minnesota, we start looking for migratory birds heading north, one of the clear signs of spring.
At this time of year in Minnesota, the landscape holds a lot of white, black, and grey on both sides of the horizon line. One has to look harder to see the subtle colors that are, in fact, there. This is the time of year when I long for a few days of Caribbean blue waters, the intense terracotta of the southwestern mesas, the legendary emerald greens of Ireland. I understand the impulse of the snowbird.
Travel is not on the table just now, but, thanks to my sister, Karla, here are some images of bright-winged travelers. All images were taken in the southeastern United States (Georgia and Florida). Just the roll call of their names gives me the lift of color I crave: roseate spoonbill, green heron, Great Blue heron, red-bellied woodpecker, greater yellow-legs…! All of these species, and more (including those with beautiful white, black, brown, and grey plumage) are here, including the art history star, the goldfinch. (Mystified? Scroll to the bottom to uncover the reference!)
How do you feel about the colors in nature at this time of year? If you need a little extra “color therapy”, how do you find it?
On a literary note, if you are looking for a long, satisfying novel to dive into, consider the new title by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch. Tim gave it to me this year at Christmas. I found it to be a mesmerizing, art-filled, lyrical page turner and so did he.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Or dip into the modern poems of Ron Padgett…
…or seek out this gorgeous anthology that pairs watercolor illustrations of particular birds with poems–classic, modern, or contemporary–from dozens of authors, each chosen with care by Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
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