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Thursday, March 3, 2011

“Marching” Along in the Valley…

pussywillows of spring

Today’s black clouds threaten who knows what? Rain? Sleet? Snow? Tornadoes? There are glimpses of blue but the clouds quickly bully these patches away. So I march along to get this walk over before the heavens unleash their fury on me.

In this month of Sousa (in my classroom days I used to do a cultural literacy digression featuring the “March King,”whenever the third month rolled around, in hopes a rousing “Semper Fidelis” would stir the class momentarily out of lethargy) the Valley is beginning to stir.

My little kestrel and I play our daily game. I try to sneak by her perch on the highline wire without her taking flight, but she requires a wide berth and this morning, as always, she glides away on the wind to seek another perch.

Kurt Biderbost passes me. He’s delivering a tractor somewhere out in the Valley. I lift my hand in greeting. Slowly, almost grudgingly, a gloved hand lifts from the steering wheel. The corners of Kurt’s mouth remain horizontal. (Another Valley game…trying to coax a smile out of Kurt.) His gaze is distant, somewhere off in corn futures, I imagine.

Werkhkovens’ big tractor drags an orange tail behind it through the cornfields. The tail supplies the tonged injectors with liquid poo from the big settling pond behind the old Honor Farm. This year’s silage crop will be thankful for the injection, its annual poo shot. Thankful, too, are the flocks of gulls soon to feast at the seep that surfaces as the tractor passes.

The Valley raptors are a’stir this morning. Two or three juvenile bald eagles lift toward the clouds, rising ever higher in the unsettled air. On my homeward trek I take my chances with the thickening clouds, stop to watch a male northern harrier glide a slalom course through the trees by the Cabes’ place, its rump feathers flashing brilliant snow as it leans into each turn.

This morning I find the first four-leaf clover of the New Year, a very small one, but it brings me just enough luck to make it to the driveway without a drenching.March luck

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