It's that time of year, when the signs of spring multiply. The robins have been here for a while now, the snowdrops have come and gone, we've had the forsythia and the crabapples. Bowen, down the hall from me at the office, has had his annual haircut. And during this morning's walk in Rockefeller Preserve, I saw that the peonies are starting to bloom, and the goslings have hatched (click photos to enlarge).
The peonies are a gift from the town of Yatsuka, Japan, a response to September 11th, 2001. The plaque that goes with them says this:
The peony monument
In the Orient, the peony is known as "The King of Flowers". It is valued highly for its splendid appearance and the root is used in Chinese medicine.
It is said that there are 250 to 300 varieties.
We have been raising peonies in our town since the eighteenth century and it is now the representative flower of Shimane Prefecture. These flowers bring us comfort in times of trouble. We hope that these peonies, carefully raised by the producers in our town, can also be loved by and bring peace of mind to people in the United States.
Yatsuka Town, Shimane Prefecture, Japan.
The goslings are a gift of nature alone, and are fascinating to watch as they develop from the tiny chicks in the photo, recently hatched, through their still-furry youth, into something that begins to resemble the geese that are their parents. The parents, of course, are very protective of them right now, and the adult on the left in the photo turned, watched me warily, and made "You keep away, you!" sounds as I passed, already giving them as much room as the narrow path would allow.
Ah, it's spring.
Feliz cinco de mayo!