Predicting the weather, especially in the early days of summer in the south, is always the pursuit of a moving target. Air pressure rises and falls, fronts move, winds shift, and water vapor collects in white masses that turn to gray then turn to black. Temperatures drop ten degrees in a matter of minutes and the trees wave back and forth, welcoming the lashing they are to take. Nature holds on.
warm turns to cool clouds roll in from the west we brace for what’s next
I have an opinion, and a way to get it out there …….I can share it, so I will What’s an “informed opinion?” I don’t care — this one is mine …….And that’s what matters I see that you have an opinion as well, your own point of view …….Even though it’s flawed As easily as I can share my opinion, I could do some reading …….That doesn’t matter I have no time for nuance, as there are other battles to be fought …….I have an opinion You’ll try to scroll on by, but you’ll probably see it, this opinion of mine …….I can share it, so I will
Tim Gels, Draft
Please note: This is not an autobiographical poem!
It was a sincere question and honestly I had to think for a few seconds before I answered.
The easy answer the one I didn’t give was it couldn’t be anything else.
With those compound leaves it wasn’t any of the oaks or maples redbud was out of the question as was beech and tulip poplar.
With those leaflets as small and numerous as they were ash, hickory box elder buckeye and even pecan were off the list.
But on that late April morning it was more than just seeing what it wasn’t
It was seeing what it had to be.
With those dangling clusters of wondrous white flowers laden with nectar, pollen, and bumble bees
It had to be a black locust. It couldn’t be anything else.
“It’s the flowers,” I said with a smile.
Just a note:
I know and understand that most people don’t know how to identify the trees around them. Or the flowers, shrubs, and grasses. There are so many I don’t know . . . lots more than I do.
In the early grades, we often use what’s known as “environmental print” to help students to read. Environmental print is helpful because almost everyone, even children at a young age, can recognize it — it’s ubiquitous and you know it at a glance.
When I learn with people — especially young people — outdoors, it’s my hope that they would develop a familiarity with the world around them. Much like recognizing the M that is the golden arches, it would be great if, at a glance, we could recognize the plants and animals around us.
To paraphrase Aldo Leopold, we can’t love what we don’t know.