Friday, June 02, 2006

things noticed

For the past two days, a flock of cliff swallows has been converging on a tiny mud puddle in the parking lot of the building where I work. There is a river just a few hundred feet away, where I'm sure they could find as much mud as they wanted, but apparently the mud in this puddle is just the right texture or something. I was going to try to photograph the swallows when I went for a walk at noon, but I could not get close enough without them scattering suddenly, like seeds in the wind, and disappearing. Then I looked down, and right at my feet was this:

I can't remember the name of this moth, but I was fascinated by the eye spots. It was dead, probably fallen off the front of a car.

As I walked on downtown, I passed a lilac bush where--was it a week ago already? Two weeks? --I had deliberately stopped to bury my nose in the clusters of pale purple blooms, inhaling the sweet, earthy fragrance. The flowers were gone now, just shriveled brown petals. When did they go? When did the first buds of spring give way to full summer? Where have I been? Sometimes it seems each flower, each marker along the continuum of the season, blooms for only a precious day before it is gone. Sometimes you don't even see the petals fall.

Across the street, at the senior apartment building, I glanced at the flower garden that someone takes the time to tend beautifully, and saw among the usual annuals a lupine in full bloom, with a color just on the raspberry side of purple. I had not seen a lupine that color before. It, too, will be gone like each passing day.

The streets seem quiet and deserted; yesterday was the last day of school. My own children are home, spending their first day of freedom from the classroom. The summer stretches out endlessly before them, while I just want to grasp and hold on to each moment, each petal as it falls.


madcapmum said...

Summer holidays start at the beginning of June? When do they go back> Up here the kids are in school until the end of June, and usually start back within the last couple days of August.

I've never seen that moth before. A beauty.

Sue said...

Very pretty Polyphemus moth!

Deb said...

madcap- School here ends about the beginning of June, and by some strange state law here in Minnesota, is not allowed to resume until after Labor Day (first weekend in September). I think the tourism industry had something to do with that--Labor Day is a big vacation weekend! Anyway, it sounds like they require more school days there in Alberta.

Sue- Polyphemus!!! Thank you!!! I learned something today.

lené said...

I know exactly what you mean, Deb. Flowers are markers of time for me too--and when I miss some of them blooming (or they bloom, as you said, for only a day or two), I'm reminded of how fleeting life's moments really are.

gina said...

Nice thoughts... it is good to mark and enjoy those brief passing moments (and yes, I can't believe how fast time flies- can't imagine how adding kids to the mix would make time fly even faster! Where do you find time for everything ?!?)

I think blogging actually helps "mark" things sometimes, because it gives you a reason to remember and record it later. Phenology for readers...

Floridacracker said...

The best moment of summer is that last minute of the last school day when it's all out there waiting.