February 27

David Culross Peattie published, in 1935, a series of reflections on the natural world, one for every day of the year. By late February the first tentative hints of Spring come to his attention: a quickening among the woody plants; a mildness in the midday air. My nature-journaling companion has sensed this as well, recording the swelling buds of cottonwood and willow, collected along the little Santa Fe River:


Mr. Peattie has this to say:

“Pussy willows are “out” in the popularly accepted meaning; that is, the black scales have fallen from them and the soft silk peeps through. But pussy willows are not yet flowers, but only buds; the flowers are a full three weeks from blooming. Yet buds are beautiful in themselves, and on the old wood of last season all the precocious trees and shrubs are swelling now in that profile that Botticelli took to be spring’s own, the prescient and plethoric curve – not a mathematical perfection, but stamped with life’s subtle oval that both bud and embryo employ.”

The book is “An Almanac for Moderns”, and the artist is Scott James of Santa Fe.

About Outspire

The natural outdoor world is exciting, restorative, and infinitely fascinating. More people should spend time there!
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