|I'm the Redhead With the Shoe & Cigarettes|
|Neon Green Peat|
|Moons, Stars & Clovers|
|Pond is Still Winter White|
|Horse Trails Attract Fish|
|It's Bino Season|
|Crows Ignore Their Tree|
|Me First Lucky Charm of the Season|
Yet, the memory stands out because Lucky Charms tasted like cigarettes. Don't ask me how a kindergartener knew what cigarettes tasted like, but each moon, star and clover made me gag.
Now I know the truth. My mother served it with goat milk. To this day, I can't tolerate even the swankiest of gourmet goat cheese. Goats produce milk laced with burnt tobacco.
As I rediscover the ground of Elmira after its recent release from snow, I'm reminded of me Lucky Charms. Buried beneath winter's icy mantle has been living, breathing peat. It's lurid green would be found among the neons in the crayon box.
A close inspection shows emerging clover pressing up from the peat which is pointy as a kindergartener's hand-drawn star. In my imagination, strands of dry grass curve into imperfect half moons.
My ranch is a Panhandle peatland -- a rare archive of the past. It is a Sphagnum-rich bog and you can see it growing right this moment.
Rains have pounded Elmira at the rate on one inch a day, and forecasters predict a full ten days. They've issued avalanche warnings in the mountains and already mud slides have gummed up roads and tracks. We even had a smattering of mysterious dirty rain to give us a good science debate (it may not be volcanic ash as first reported).
Elmira Pond remains gripped in white slush, although water is pooling like a cup of coffee heavy on the cream. With all the rain, the horse trails look like streams lacing the pond's edge and I watch as fish rise to the surface, seeking their meal since ice sealed them under.
I'm like a little kid, wanting to put on galoshes to chase fish along watery horse trails.
Open water is a beacon to migrating birds. It's like April in February, and I've heard the honking of geese headed north. My binoculars are on my desk and I regularly scan for feathered visitors.
For days, I've seen a flash of white about mid-way up the tall tamaracks west of the pond. Today it landed on the massive power line tower that carries electricity for northern Idaho through our narrow valley.
Turns out to be a hawk. I believe it to be a Ferruginous hawk because it's much whiter than a red-tailed hawk and it is as large as a small eagle.
The snow is gone and so are my excuses to not un-decorate the Crow Tree. Murderous ingrates. They flock past but never stop.
Yet, I did find treasure near the tree with it's lagging ribbon like a gilded tongue. Each year, before the grass overtakes the pad of peat, I search for broken glass. If peat is an archive of seeds and pollens, it also keeps record of human trash.
Today I found a shard of cobalt blue bottle glass -- my first lucky charm of the amateur archeological season.
And I refrained from licking any stars, moons or clovers, having learned that not all treasure tastes as advertised.
Linking up with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. Photos by Charli Mills (except the incriminating cigarette photo -- that was provided by my partner in wading pool crime, my Cuz, Mitch).