Heading out for another day walking the trail

Heading out for another day walking the trail


This is one of the strangest springs I can remember. Oh, the landscape is now green and lush, but it happened late—a month later than last year.  The lilacs are just now in full bloom, as well as the chestnut and hickory. All, three weeks late. There are very few native bees to pollinate all the blossoms. I’m puzzled at how quiet it is around fragrant blossoms without the buzzing of the bees. Where are the early butterflies? Has it been too cool for them to hatch? Will they be around when the weather worms up. Will the weather warm up? Well, I can only say that I’ve never experienced any of these strange signs before, so I guess the answer is, “I don’t know.”

There is very little insect activity overall, but I hope that will change when it warms up. All of nature depends on the insect to set the tempo for prosperity, to provide food and pollination and energy for all the budding new life that spring offers. Insects are the true blood source that feeds al the veins of nature’s interdependent existence. All life relies on the insect’s timely arrival. When it’s time for the flowers to attract pollinators, will the insects be there for them? When the new baby birds are ready to hatch, will there be enough insects for them to eat? Will the brown bats have to search the sky the entire night to find enough flying insects to eat? I don’t know.

The timing is wrong this year. In fact it was wrong last year, and has been off-kilter the past several years. After keeping field notes for the past 50 years, I had developed a comfortable sense of when the season changes would come. These changes were consistent through my life. It was always possible to make predictions.

The climate has become so unpredictable it’s no longer a dependable assistant for nature’s harmonious intent. Nature’s timing is off and I have no reason to believe it’s going to change any time soon. Sadly, there are few positive predictions for a natural world so obviously out of balance. How long before we are forced to face our modern illusion that we are in control of our destiny?




Folks here in Wisconsin are trash-talking the weather a lot. Mostly grumbling about another day without sunshine, with anemic temperatures lacking the gusto to make it more than a click or two into the 50s. Sweaters in June are duly and darkly noted. I’m amongst the grumblers, too, but I’m trying.

Sometimes sunshine can come in a few kind words to a friend, a family member or the person at the checkout counter. It can add a few rays of sunshine to a gloomy day. As long as we’re all in this together, we might as well help each other. Even a warm smile can go a long way these days in Wisconsin.