a turning

The months have turned, May to June, and now it seems that the weather might too. We’ve had the driest May on record — 4.5 mms of rain and the average is 65. Not 6.5 but 65. So all the flowers have been three weeks early, the birds arrived early and the young — at least the first nestsful — have fledged or are in the process. Last evening I watched a sapsucker preparing a thick stem of cotoneaster for its young and soon I expect to see one or two attempting to feed in the prepared holes where insects will be waiting in the sap. It’s a funny thing to watch because there’s a lot of flapping on the part of the young and much earnest coaxing on the part of the parents. This morning I was mulching the garlic bed and startled a bird in the narrow gap between the box and the mesh fence. I didn’t immediately know what it was but soon realized, as it kept flapping against the fence, that it was a young towhee. One parent was calling to it from the salal just beyond the fence. I tried to ease it up but it didn’t realize that it could fly up over the fence and it flapped its way along the mesh, making small sounds of panic. Finally I approached it slowly and lifted the fence up a few inches and brushed it through the low gap. It did fly then, over to a maple by the salal, where the parent made a fuss of it.

And now I think it’s going to rain, finally. The sky has gone very grey. I’m ready for the smell of mineral rain through the window, the sound of it on the roof, the cool breath of air ruffling the linen curtains in my bedroom. I just cut a big bouquet of roses to take to a birthday celebration tonight. June roses (and honeysuckle) for my friend June.

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