Earth Day is bullshit. (My favorite comment on the day was from nature writer and curmudgeon Chris Clarke on Twitter: “I am to Earth Day as @Space_Kitty is to St. Patrick’s Day. Prefer to stay home while everyone else vomits green for a day.”) It’s true that I decided to begin serializing qarrtsiluni‘s long-overdue Animals in the City issue yesterday, but that was sheer coincidence. Looking at the past six years’ worth of updates in the sidebar of The Morning Porch, I notice that it’s the day after Earth Day—April 23—when I seem to have my eyes and ears the most open:
April 23, 2008
A male starling—a rarity here—lands among the cherry blossoms, iridescent black feathers speckled with white. He gargles musically.
April 23, 2009
A moment of sunlight illuminates the yard. Water seeps from the mountain’s every pore. The starling is doing its best to talk like a duck.
April 23, 2010
Mid-morning sun: I’m almost baking until the wind blows, cool as midnight, the chitter of goldfinches interrupted by a raven’s cronk.
April 23, 2011
Four gray squirrels interrupt their chasing to scold the feral cat—a Two Minutes’ Hate. In the corner of my eye, the zip of a winter wren.
April 23, 2012
Snow falling faster than it can melt. Unto every one that hath shall be given, says the sky: hawthorn and bridal wreath now twice as white.
April 23, 2013
Clear—but how clear? I notice a faint haze in the sky near the sun. Off in the woods, the white cloud of another shadbush coming into bloom.