Friday, August 5, 2011

Noisy Streets and Quiet Gardens

The morning of August 5th was a hot one. Two brave phenologists were not deterred. We met at the FlatPak House, and feeling bold, decided to make a trip across the Armajani bridge to Loring Park. Our plan was take the stroll and observe carefully, embracing the time in our morning to appreciate our surroundings. As we walked up the steps we were struck with the loud roar of traffic from below. The sound and speed of the moving cars took on a different meaning from our elevated prospect. We reflected on the chaos of everyday life, and became more aware of the drone of noise always around us in a city. From this position we even spotted some sunflowers on the side of the road. Such a thing would surely go unnoticed from our car. We were off to great start!

The sound of traffic went as suddenly as it came. Once across the bridge we were greeted with green grass and peaceful quiet. In the morning heat the park was lush and filled with many shades of green. Tall grasses and cattails had completely overtaken a section of the pond. Not even a patch of open water could be seen. In them we heard the rusting of birds and other animals. It seemed a nice and shady spot for many small critters.

Our stroll through the park gave us an opportunity to appreciate the overwhelming amount of growth during the season. Beautiful flowers were everywhere as were mallards and butterflies. As we made our way back to the bridge we felt energized and rejuvenated from the trip. Taking in our surroundings in this way was refreshing. We discussed how easy it is to miss all the exciting things happening in your immediate surroundings. As we climbed up the steps, my fellow phenologist commented that the sky looked unmistakably of summer. I agreed and we wondered if our conclusion was due to context or if we were on to something. Does the look of the sky really change through the seasons? If so, in what ways? Readers, if you were to picture a quintessential summertime sky, would it look like this?

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