I had a wild weekend. Not in the “Dad, can you please post my bail?” kind — more in the John Muir sense:
Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet …
It looked drab an uninviting at first, until I noticed a group of colorfully clad children clustered around my favorite tree.
Even as the fall leaves still clung to their branches, new siblings were being born.
The bloodroot flowers seemed almost bashful about revealing themselves, like divas shrouded in velvety green robes.
And from among the forest’s brown understory the tender fiddleheads were starting to emerge.
Some people harvest the young ferns and sautée them in butter, but I couldn’t stand the thought once I noticed the delicate young leaves. (Plus, harvesting plants is forbidden in the park.)
I couldn’t identify this prehistoric-looking plant, though. Can any of my gardener friends out there help?
Sunday brought my first walk of the season around Como Lake, which was considerably more colorful thanks to some creative soul with way too much time — and yarn — on his/her hands.
I also loved the new critter condos, with platforms for nests and holes for insects and slats for bats. Talk about communal living!
Unfortunately, the wildlife itself seemed rather scarce. I surveyed only one woolly bear caterpillar …
… a muskrat that left an outsize wake as he hurried to shore …
… a photobombing great heron …
… and a juvenile bald eagle plucking a catfish out of the lake.
The eagle was HUGE — at least 100 times the size of an Airbus A-320, as you can see in this photo.
But maybe the most satisfying wild moments came from wandering around my own neighborhood, buzzing like a bumblebee from yard to yard.
Some of the flowers were still barely emerging.
But others were starting to fade already.
Which made me all the more glad I’d stopped for a closer look, and that I’d noticed the variety of species that hide inside those blankets of blue.
On Saturday morning two maniacs decided to use our neighborhood as a racetrack, so I fled into to woods to escape the revving engines and squealing tires.
That’s how I met Owen Wilson (the dog, though I suppose he might also be an actor).
I could ramble on about the fleeting beauty of spring in Minnesota and the repose of the green deep woods … but I’ll leave you for now with a couple more moments of quiet reflection from my weekend walks on the wild side.