Trout Lily and Cranes





Over the past year I have paid long visits to a very dear person who lives in the Muskoka region of Ontario. This is my first spring visit and I was astonished to see the whole of his property carpeted with this charming wild flower.  I hate to generalize but I think his reaction to my delight and wonder at this pretty surprise was fairly typical of most men.  A sort of shrug and “Oh, this old thing” attitude.  It seems that for a very brief period each spring these dappled leaves (hence the trout part of the name) and hanging golden bells appear all over the woods and uncultivated land of the area.  A weak sun was struggling yesterday in the afternoon and they were more open but this morning the usual cloud cover and cool temperatures had returned and I could only get a picture of these shy flowers in a closed state. Apparently when they are open, bees just love to come around and enjoy a sort of early snack of nectar.  We are suffering from such a wet and cold spring that I wonder if I will ever enjoy that sight.  The trout lily is described as “ephemeral” in the article I found on the internet and I am sure they will soon disappear.  Just as was swooning over these darlings, a grating and harsh cry startled me out of my Wordsworth mood.  “What on earth is that?”

“Look over there – see the crane”  In my shortsighted way I peered over to a grove of trees.  It took me a few minutes to distinguish a tall brown bird standing before the thicket of trees, still bare of leaves.  It seems that every year a pair of cranes come and nest there.  These tall mystical birds that migrate great distances with the seasons have chosen this particular quiet corner to raise the next generation of cranes.

Long live trout lily and cranes away from highways and streets – away from development and “progress”.  Long live quiet and dark sky.  Long live sun too if it ever appears.

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