Changing Season

I finish paintings at a glacially slow pace these days. This one has been floating around for awhile, and just needs a little touch-up before I declare it good enough and go on to the next one. My eye keeps going to it because of the green. It’s a queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), a deep woods bloomer that comes along after trilliums. Thinking of trilliums reminds me that they will be emerging soon over on the west side of the Cascades but not till May or June here.

And that gets me thinking about the swelling of life that’s on the way. Indeed, there were snow showers this very day, but consider this: the gray whales are swimming north right now. They winter in Baja, but before the end of March they can be seen off the Oregon coast. They travel close to the shore on their way to northern waters. Western bluebirds will show up out at Swauk prairie in two or three weeks. They are among the first neotropical migrant birds, the edge of the wave that surges this direction. They are traveling right now. Swallows, hermit thrushes, warblers, tanagers and many more. They’re coming!

Even here, the cottonwood buds elongate, the deer are on the move, and I heard the first rusty trill of a varied thrush when I stepped out the door the other morning. Think of it–we are on the verge of another unfolding spring.