Monday, April 02, 2007


Innards of a magnolia

Magnolia pores

Tunnel of Love


My magnolia tree is going mad!
what delicious blossoming:
on branches bare a month ago
this blush, first flush of Spring,
on limbs unburdened by their weight
not buds, but birds, burgeoning:
rose-pink breasted, moon-white crested
fledglings and doting pairs,
there’s no mistaking them:
instant families of galahs
noiselessly in celebration
of becoming and of being.
Much more than surprise
their blithe presence
is a kind of offering.
Brave community of innocents
in the shelter of each other
they cluster in their peace.
Nothing startles them or stains
their gentle rush to radiance.

Only vagrant winds soft and rough
ruffle their feathered joy,
enticing whispers of call
and restlessness so tender
flight seems imminent
and my need clear: keep watch
and catch the joy before it flies.
Yet all is hover and hold,
time and birds fold wings
and the only flight is fall:
magnolia moultings floating down
quilting garden bed and lawn;
and soon above on branches stirring,
noiseless as before appear new wings
leaf-bud green and more enduring.
But oh! that pink-white loveliness
before the green, that bloom of birds,
that brief but shared delirium.
The world and I need such madness

Magnolia Madness
Bet Briggs

I had a program this morning at Our Lady of Perpetual Disdain Catholic School in Cincinnati. The fourth graders were a great group of kids, very bright and well-behaved. But who rubbed me the wrong way was the teacher. During my talk, she turned her chair around, facing the opposite direction, typed rather loudly on her computer, got up and left a handful of times...If she had told me before I started my presentation that she would be working while I talked, I won't have cared. It was so distracting and rude. Hey, you teacher-types who read my blog...what do you think? Would you have done that if someone like me was speaking to your class? Am I being overly sensitive?
Say Cheese, Mr. Goose
Late this afternoon, I grabbed the girls and headed off to the Cincinnati Nature Center. I have been telling the girls that we would be able to feed the turtles and fish after April 1st. We filled a baggie with pellets at the dispenser and sat there for about 30 minutes, slowly filling the winter-weary tummies of blue gill, other kinds of fish I don't know the name of, and two turtles.
Lorelei and the Friendly Goose
A pair of Canada geese were interested in the food we were throwing to the water critters. The signs at the Center state you aren't supposed to feed the waterfowl, but I threw some food down the dock just so they would move farther away!
I'm ready for my close-up
This is NOT zoomed in. I could have kissed his beak without leaning in.
Cute. Overly fecund, butt-biting, poop-making machines. But cute.

A quick video of just how much one of the geese wanted to stick close to us:

A disapproving turtle
Hey, Birdchick! A disapproving TURTLE!
Holy violet Batman
Holy Violet, Batman!
They smell good, Mommy
The magnolia is doing just peachy. Isabelle is so sweet and girly, just when I am not expecting it. She took a deep sniff of the flowers and said, "Mommy, they smell so SWEET!"
Purple skies
Purple skies over the Williams Manor tonight.


LostRoses said...

I can't believe I just discovered that saucer magnolia grow here in our zone 5 climate. Who knew? I swear I've never seen one yet found them listed in "a best plants for Colorado" book. Then a friend brought in a picture of one blooming in her neighborhood. Yours is just lovely!

Our Lady of Perpetual Disdain?? Oh my!

Dave said...

She was a little rude, wasn't she. You should have interupted her by asking her questions.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Well. I, as a teacher, would have probably been trying to multi-task and get something done while you were there. However, I would also have been making sure that I was paying attention to you, making sure the kids were paying attention, making sure that I knew what you'd talked about so that I could discuss it with the kids later, etc. Oh, well, of course, I would certainly have been paying attention ANYWAY because it's BIRDS!!! Wanna come out and do a program here in California, Susan? I can show you some awesome ravens! :)

And, seriously, Our Lady of Perpetual Disdain. Wow!

Lastly, saucer magnolias, tulip magnolias, plate magnolias, whatever you call them are one of my favorite trees. I AM going to get one and replace the hideous, deformed pine tree that's in my front yard right now.

Body Soul Spirit said...

Teacher or not, her behaviour was rude and a bad example to the children on how to treat a guest. I love the pictures, especially the girls and the goose, and the turtle. I envy your spring weather!

Mary said...

I think this is one of my favorite "Susan" posts. Bright and cheery photos, sounds, lovely little girls, a poem...can't get better than that.

I agree with you about the teacher. She didn't set a very good example to the children if she was up and down like that, unless she explained to them beforehand that she had something SO IMPORTANT TO DO... She should have made every effort to enjoy your visit and share what she learned with the kids.

mon@rch said...

I agree with everyone regarding the teacher! Love your Magnolia pictures! Looks like the kids were having fun around the geese, but then again you were having fun taking their pictures! Great up close pictures!

birdchick said...

Fantastic goose photo!

I want that goose head as my desk top!

Canada geese have a special place in my heart. We hardly ever saw them when I was a kid. Through a friend of a friend, we found a lake on private property near where I grew up that you could find Canada geese. My mom and aunts made a special trip in February and took me there so I could see the geese. Their honks are always a sign on spring to me.

katdoc said...

Enjoy that magnolia while you can, Susan. As I read your post last night, the winds had blown through and the thermometer was heading for the cellar. From highs in the 80's to predicted lows in the 20's in 48 hrs? That's Cincinnati weather for you!

I'll have to put the heaters back in the water garden and the horse trough, stock the feeders, whip up a new batch of suet dough, and ladle out the mealworms for my incubating bluebird mama. Good thing I still have a load of firewood easily accessible.

The thing that hurts the most is that my apple blossoms are just starting to emerge. They are going to be destroyed by the next 4 or 5 days of sub-freezing temps, and that doesn't bode well for this year's apple crop!

Looks like CNC was fun (when isn't it?)

~Kathi, who disapproves of teachers who are rude to guests

Mary Richmond said...

oh I'm so jealous of your flowers and your on Cape Cod it is still so cold and damp everything is still monotone gray and the peepers have only peeped one night so far....bring on the flowers! thanks for the lovely photos.