After months of bitter cold and snowstorms, last Friday the ground finally thawed enough for a stroll into the woods. It was still dark as I set out.
As the sun rose, the light felt more like fall than spring.
And other than a few tufts of moss, everything still seemed dormant.
But thanks to the barren branches I was able to spot something unusual at the bottom of the ravine.
I have no idea who built it, or how long it had been there.
It measured about eight feet across, with an opening facing upstream. My theory is that it’s designed to stop trash from flowing into the holding pond downstream.
Maybe because Notre Dame was on my mind — or maybe because subconsciously I knew it was Good Friday — it reminded me of the Crown of Thorns.
But, regardless of its purpose, isn’t it a beautiful bit of weaving and engineering?
Unfortunately my stroll took a darker turn as I left the woods and found another curiosity among the barren branches. It looked like someone had field-dressed this squirrel (taking the front legs in the process) and hung the pelt up to dry.
It was unsettling to wonder who would do such a thing just a few steps from my home.
Well … that’s the death part. And now comes the rebirth!
After a warm and sunny Saturday, by Easter morning flowers were poking up everywhere. It really does feel like a resurrection each spring when the first tiny things emerge from the ground.
And as it happened, I also had plans to visit my friend Pam in Frontenac. There were signs of rebirth there, too, as a tiny purple finch had returned to nest in Pam’s Christmas wreath.
On our stroll to the lake we spotted more wee flowers. The Dutchmen’s breeches were a favorite of her mom’s, Pam said.
But I’m more partial to the bloodroots, which remind me of showy divas wrapped in silky green bathrobes.
The river was still at flood stage, though you could tell it had receded a bit (because the previous high-water mark was outlined in driftwood and logs).
We also saw a small flock of migrating white pelicans — alas, my photos were rubbish — and a pair of bald eagles. One sat in a tree looking regal while its mate ripped a fish to shreds.
And of course, no trip to Frontenac is complete without a stroll past Locust Lodge, which continues to slowly rot. But even here there was evidence of rebirth, as someone had recently installed a new gate. Voilà … instant curb appeal!
No trip to Frontenac is complete without a walk through the old cemetery, either — and here too we found rebirth, as volunteers have been painstakingly restoring the old tombstones.
Now it’s Monday morning and it’s pitch-black outside as the first thunderstorm of the season rolls through. It’s all right, though: April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes. It’s all part of the cycle of death and rebirth …