Friday, April 4, 2014

April wildflowers call us to the mountains

special gardens

wildflowers pull us up to the mountains in April,

and windflower and yellow trillium

whisper a welcome
as we move through them in search of the special gardens
with just the right mix of soil and moisture, of sun and circumstance,
so that blood root can bloom for its brief flowering
and we want to be in the audience for its presentation,

winter has withdrawn much of summer’s obscuring foliage,
though it's also littered the forest with dead branches,
almost in parody of branches cut and spread to honor and celebrate,

today we move with wonder through two of our favorite wild gardens,
one far enough up a valley that the land was never domesticated,
and, underneath great buckeye trees,

 are draped fields of
white-fringed phacelia, spring beauties, hepatica, windflower, 
white trillium,

Dutchman’s breeches, 

and trout lily,

and on a limestone slope just above where Little River leaves the park,

where a hundred years ago all the great trees 
were transformed into lumber and slash piles,
spring ephemerals still find a space to be,
as blood-root blooms in profusion,
accompanied by hepatica, toothwort, 

violets, spring beauties, 

rue anemone, chickweed,and yellow trillium,

every spring nature throws a party with the flowers,
and, like the honeybees in the phacelia I saw today,

I am drawn to the sweetness of what’s there,

there’s a feast planned for summer,
for now I love the appetizer of small special gardens
which whet my appetite for what is still to come.

by Henry H. Walker
April 2, ’14

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