"Our grandfathers were less well-housed, well-fed, well-clothed than we are. The strivings by which they bettered their lot are also those which deprived us of pigeons. Perhaps we now grieve because we are not sure, in our heats, that we have gained by the exchange. The gadgets of industry bring us more comforts that the pigeons did, but do they add as much to the glory of the spring?" Aldo Leopold, from Sketches Here and There.
THESE are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June,—
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility Induces my belief,
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timed leaf!
Taken from "When the birds come back" by
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
|“This is one of the most hardy and easily grown shrubs and can be planted in various situations in home landscaping. It is the first shrub to unfold its leaves in the spring. The small pale yellow flowers appear even earlier sometimes in March. The fruit is a red oval-shaped drupe. This symmetrical shrub seldom exceeds 4 feet in height, growing native in woods [it] therefore will tolerate shade. Altho this family has about 37 genera and 460 species widely distributed, only two species of one genus occur native in the United States. One in California and Dirca palustris in this area. The bark and twigs of this shrub are exceeding tough and pliable and cannot be broken. " Martha Crone, from The Fringed Gentian™, Jan. 1959
Dirca palustris L.
Eloise Butler planted the first ones in 1912. It is native to our area and has a medicinal history among the Minnesota Chippewa. A fine specimen grows next to the boulder holding the Butler Memorial Tablet near the Martha Crone Shelter in the Garden.