I am on the west side of Jefferson lake where the red-eared sliders are sunning themselves on the water lily pots in the center of the south end of the water. The lawn between it and Faulkner Drive is dense with spring beauty and violets, and the early afternoon sun is casting delicate shadows on the grass. There is a translucency to the first budding of the trees, and they glow golden green against the azure sky and the wispy clouds that drift slowly across it. The air is cool, cool enough for a light coat, though the sun shines benevolently on this scene of spring in all of its glory.
Redbud trees dot the landscape (we even have a white cultivar of this tree in the park lining Union Avenue where it enters on the north side, though I think it is still called a Redbud), and mobs of claytonia virginica (aka spring beauty) throng the park, their blossoms tossing in the breeze as if they are shouting “Spring, spring, spring is here! Down with winter!” This sentiment suits me and I wander in a delighted daze looking for suitable subjects for my camera.
Robins are everywhere, starlings flit around, a pair of wood ducks sees me coming and goes the opposite way. A jogger stops to photograph the claytonia with her cell phone, cyclists zoom past, missing all the details, and I can hear the distant roar of the mowers, minions of the suburban order of trim lawns and orderly nature, grim in their determination to extirpate the cheerful riot of violets, claytonia and anything else that dares raise itself more than an inch off the ground. The scent of the cut grass wafts across Faulkner Drive from the Central Fields, and though it has a sweetness to it, I imagine it is mixed with the screams of mother nature, distressed at the sacrilege of man’s thoughtless destruction of her beauties in their prime.
I keep walking (it helps tame the overactive imagination syndrome from which I sometimes suffer), and just up the rise from the running path I encounter the illusive bird I first saw the day before but whose reflective photons I was unable to capture on silicon. Today, he sits still for me on a bare patch by the beauty meadow, and I snap photos and advance slowly, determined to identify my little visitor. It turns out to be a brown thrasher, a bird I had not seen before, though apparently I am the only one. His robin neighbor watches as he poses for me, then tires to the fun and flits away to toil in another task.
I wander on, to see what I can see.
#ForestPark365 #ClaytoniaVirginica #BrownThrasher