june 18/RUN

2.5 miles
river road path, south/north
74 degrees

One more day of hotter weather. Decided to run with my headphones in, listening to an old playlist. Was able to run right by the river for a few minutes. So much green, barely any view through to the river. Felt strong. Read somewhere that the river road will open back up in about a month because they will have used up all they money they had budgeted for it (apparently the money was for renting road closed signs?). Bummer. Better enjoy it while I can.

Because I’m feeling the stress of COVID-19 and how many people don’t seem to be taking it seriously and how Trump is pushing for schools to reopen too soon in the fall, I need a delightful poem so here’s an abecedarian from one of my favorite poets:

HUMMINGBIRD ABECEDARIAN/ Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Arriving with throats like nipped roses, like a tiny
bloom fastened to each neck, nothing else
cuts the air quite like this thrum to make the small
dog at my feet whine and yelp. So we wait—no
excitement pinned to the sky so needled and our days open
full of rain for weeks. Nothing yet from the ground speaks
green except weeds. But soon you see a familiar shadow
hovering where the glass feeders you brought
inside used to hang because the ice might shatter the pollen
junk and leaf bits collected after this windiest, wildest of winters.
Kin across the ocean surely felt this little jump of blood, this
little heartbeat, perhaps brushed across my grandmother’s
mostly grey braid snaked down her brown
neck and back across the Indian and the widest part of the Pacific 
ocean, across the Mississippi, and back underneath my
patio. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been silent in my lungs,
quiet as a salamander. Those times I wanted to decipher the mutter
rolled off a stranger’s full and beautiful lips. I only knew they
spoke in Malayalam—my father’s language—and how
terrific it’d sound if I could make my own slow mouth
ululate like that in utter sorrow or joy. I’m certain I’d be 
voracious with each light and peppered syllable 
winged back to me in the form of this sort of faith, a gift like
xenia offered to me. And now I must give it back to this tiny bird, its
yield far greener and greater than I could ever repay—a light like
zirconia—hoping for something so simple and sweet to sip.

aspen eyes

Every day, in the late afternoon around 5, Scott and I take Delia the dog on a long walk between Edmund Boulevard and the River Road. This week, while stopped near the upper campus of Minnehaha Academy–the one that was recently rebuilt after the old building exploded a few years ago, Scott noticed all the eyes on an aspen tree and took a picture of it:

I remember remarking, “oh, I bet there’s a name for that. I’ll have to look it up.” I finally did just now. The most popular answer? Aspen eyes. According to several sites I found, these eyes are formed through self-grooming, when aspens shed their smallest branches. I wanted to see if one of my favorite nature writers had a name for it. Of course, Rob Macfarlane posted it as a words of the day on twitter. He calls it, “The Watchful Tree.”