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Jupiter & the moon beneath Venus.
March 25, 2012.




Little Crum Creek
comes and goes–


the waxing moon
beside Jupiter and Venus.

By the calendar start of spring, copious crowds of leafy rosettes were already greening the streamside.

Also known as pilewort or fig buttercup, lesser celandine was introduced from Europe where Wordsworth celebrated its overlooked beauty and ornamental promise.

It is now considered invasive in Pennsylvania, reviled by many for diminishing the local diversity of spring ephemerals.

In fact, few, if any, flowering natives seem to penetrate its smothering profusion here in this part of the Little Crum corridor.

But soon its own brilliant florescence lightens the dark green space like a starry sky.

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Then, too bright to photograph in direct sunlight, one might shadow the flowers for clarity, outlining a constellation of our complicity in the natural character of our creeks.






For a brief moment after July’s flowers,  rubus phoenicolasius  fruit exploded over the land like some fleeting celestial event.  

But wineberry, related to blackberry and raspberry, is like any other plant:  firmly terrestrial.  Perhaps even doubly so.  Its arcing cane elegantly returns a furthest tip to the same ground, a few feet away from the earthen spot from which it sprung, rooting the beginning and end of itself in soil. 




 Still, there seems to be something extra to this doubly terrestrial bramble.  Rooting both ends in dirt, the plant can nonetheless seem untethered to earth.  Its three ovately-pointed leaves per stem collectively point elsewhere. Its perfectly elegant arc bristles with a combustible color complementing riotous-like redhaired clusters of stellar white flowers before exploding into fiery drupelets of fruit.  Each blossom and fruit, though fleeting, is frozen in photos like Hubble captures of dynamic deep space.

The plant’s groundedness does not contradict this impression.  Its rooting rather reminds us of something easily forgotten.  Looking to the ground, the fact astounds us:    Here we are out in the universe.