Dispatch from Our Wood Sprite

By , February 9, 2014

Aly may be away at college, but she’s still finding time to explore and enjoy the natural world around her. Below is an excerpt from a recent email (bracketed explanations are mine):

“I wish I’d had the camera today. We got out of class early, so I went to my favorite nettle patch to see if there were any signs of life yet.

It was a bright sunny day, not more than 35°, with little birds turning the fallen leaves over. I saw a large woodpecker—the ones here seem to be twice the size of ours—hanging upside down from a branch to tap at the trunk of a large maple.

There were rather impressive frost heaves all around, untouched by the sun even though it was the hottest part of the day. There’s also a mold/fungus that appears in spring that looks like needles of frost, but reacts to a cautious stick-prodding more like fur would. It grows on fallen branches in muddy fields, apparently.

There are small nettle shoots appearing (I didn’t take any because I had nothing safe to carry them in, and they’d have wilted during fiber arts) small but a healthy, vibrant green with purple patterning. I found the beginnings of fiddleheads and devil’s club buds, too.

I found a sunny, dry(!) place on a stream bank and did a bit of music practice until my fingers got cold. (This took a surprising amount of time.) The sunshine and the signs of spring made me feel very happy and full to bursting with creative energy. I honestly think I could have had success with any craft on that stream bank today. As it was, I had my pennywhistle, so I played with that. [Aly’s current class includes a musical component. Everyone is required to play an instrument.] I managed to make some decent music on the spot. Nothing spectacular, but not as tortured as anything I’ve done previously to warm up. After a while the muscle memory I’ve built up over the past quarter and a half took over and I switched to songs we’ve been learning in class. (I had to look at my music after a bit, but I had parts of it down by memory.)

Overall, it felt really good to fool around for a bit and be outside while the weather was pleasant.”

I love this young woman!

2 Responses to “Dispatch from Our Wood Sprite”

  1. Jo says:

    Oh February! Aly can watch the nettles (one of my favorite spring greens) and devil’s club growing, and we in Southeast Alaska watch frost crystals and snowbanks growing! Great reminder that spring isn’t forever away – thanks for the post!

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    It’s disorienting, isn’t it? This is Aly’s 3rd or 4th spring there, and she still can’t believe how much more advanced it is down there than it is here.

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy