Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Signs of Spring

Can spring really be coming to the Pacific Northwest at last?
The signs look hopeful.

--the violets* have bloomed, and the strawberries in the little planter on the balcony have their first blossoms.

--last week, we saw the biggest rainbow I remember. And a strong, vivid one too, that lasted quite a while. Given Barfield's riff about the rainbow as an icon of participatory reality, it was interesting discussing with Janice what we were each seeing. For me, there was a strong band of red-orange, a yellow line, a thin streak of blue, and a bright band of green. She, on the other hand, could see the purple, and I gathered saw the individual colors more distictly. Then, interestingly enough, by focusing where she pointed I cd see the purple too, but that made the blue disappear altogether and the green shrink to a narrow ribbon. V. interesting!

--the first yellow jacket of the year scouting out the area around the hummingbird feeder.

--and we finally made our way back to Point Defiance Zoo & aquarium, for the first time in several years, to see the baby clouded leopard cubs. They were adorable; just eight weeks old. We timed our arrival to see them at feeding time: first a little wet catfood, then bottles of milk, then some playtime, after which they zonked out. Just like any kittens, albeit each is already about the size of a full-grown housecat already (well, not Feanor perhaps, but then he is a big cat). We saw their mother, too, with her long fluffy tail about the length of the rest of her hanging down from where she was lounging up in the branches.
Also noteworthy were the otters, a show-off puffin splashing about, getting to actually see the arctic foxes (they've usually been in hiding), the red wolves (which we have in Arkansas but are quite distinct from the grey wolves in most of the U.S., looking more like big coyotes), three walruses (one of whom is enormous), and the peacock. Turns out they no longer have beluga whales -- who knew?

-- as for the weather, it keeps swinging back and forth between warm and sunny and the cool, windy, and wet. Sometimes both multiple times in the same day . . .

--John R.
current reading: COMPLETE PLAYS of Lord Dunsany (currently I'm up to IF)
also: IN THE SHADOW OF THE DREAMCHILD: A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF LEWIS CARROLL by Karoline Leach (recommended at last year's Kalamazoo by Doug and Dimitra; they were right)
current audiobook: SILVER ON THE TREE (the final book in The Dark Is Rising series)
current dvd: R.O.D.tv and SUSPENSE: THE LOST EPISODES

*transplanted from the yard in Magnolia before the house was knocked down, and carried back as one of my more unusual in-cabin personal items on a flight.

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