Kalmia latifolia


"Mountain Laurel"
Within our laurel's blooms I spy by chance
two catbirds, improvising ear to ear,
as each upon the other's art descants.
I stand in awe of how the two cohere.
Aware of me, perhaps, they flush, and clear
the laurel, soaring to our neighbor's orchard
and leave the scrawny poet in me tortured.

~ Leland Jamieson

One thing I love about the Farm is the attention that is paid to nature; its cycles, its gifts. At this time of year we look to the woods during late spring for the mountain laurel. The other day at a morning meeting the subject of mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia),came up, or rather the lack of the flowers this year; the skimpy amount of laurels appearing on and around the Farm trail which bears the bushes name. I had yet to see the laurels, until today.

Every summer the Farm takes a trip to the nearby state forest for a picnic and time at the lake; swimming and boating. This year we've decided to go once every month, May-September, while the weather is nice. However, today the weather was foreboding all morning, a cloudy sky and cool temps producing a spitting of rain. Just as I arrived at the forest the rain stopped, the clouds pushed back to the edges of the lake and a powdery blue, partially sunny sky appeared. The view was spectacular as JBean and I paddled a canoe around the lake, fighting against the strong, wind controlled waters. Dotting the edges of the lake--as seemingly seen from the inside out; from the middle of the lake to the shore--were mountain laurels quietly trumpeting spring. I had found them again.

Picture found here.

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