Folded Field Notes is an interactive column that explores a new ecological topic each fortnight – part writing challenge, part citizen science project – led by alternating guides with assistance from editor & ecologist JS Graustein. Will you join us?
TODAY’S TOPIC : Migration
Migration is the movement of populations from one place to another. Migration can happen on a timescale of hours (bacteria) to millennia (plants), and is one agent of evolutionary change. The term can be applied to many things, including the movement of information from one storehouse to another, or even the movement of atoms within a molecular structure.
Barbara Flaherty is an artist and poet who lives on the north shore of Boston with two feline critics, Sylvester and Tashi. She works in the historic Manchester by the Sea Public Library. Barbara previously served as Folded’s acquisitions editor and has sponsored public readings for Folded authors.
Today: fleeting time, fleeting season along the water’s edge as summer moves over autumn’s threshold. Subtle beginnings of change and movement – one monarch butterfly lingering on a sea rose, then two and now more: travelers en route to somewhere else – forerunners. This morning I heard less chatter from the birds, the missing songs a sign of their migration.
Leaves hurry to catch up
with summer moving on
past arrivals and farewells.
Their migration more frantic perhaps,
having waited out the storm, thinking
it would pass, not take its toll
Leaves hurry now, catching up
with light that fades too early
into the mirror of the sea,
having murmured their adieu
to branches letting go.
©2018 by Barbara Flaherty
Your turn! In the comments section below, please let us know if you’ve observed any kind of migration recently – including general location and time of day. We’ll leave the comments open for the next two weeks in case you need a chance to go on a field trip first😊 And if your encounter inspires you to write a response (short poem, flash fiction, or mini essay), please come back and share that as well. On 8 October 2018 we’ll post a community poem based on all your observations. We’ll also select one of the response pieces to publish in our Written Word Wednesday column (revisions may be requested).
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