Here are some hazelnuts that the squirrels didn't get. I live atop a hill at the north end of Lake Washington, which once was largely hazel thicket (Beaked Hazel, Corylus cornuta subsp. californica). I wonder if people know that anymore, though Filbert Road and Hazelwood Elementary School ought to be hint enough. Hazels are unassuming small trees or large shrubs, except in February and March when their lengthening, green-going-bronze catkins are the first notice of spring.

I read these lines recently, and have been repeating them to myself -- the lines are put in the mouth of the prophetess Manto and are addressed to a certain famous Mantuan:

Tu tamen ante alios felix, mea vera propago,
cui licitum in silvis inter coryleta iacenti
rimari quid fata parent, quid pulchra minentur
sidera ...

(But you are blessed above all others, you, my true progeny, to whom it was granted, lying in the woods among the hazel-thickets, to examine what the fates are preparing, what the beautiful stars are threatening...)

Angelo Poliziano (1454-1494), Silvae ("Manto", ll. 127-130), ed., trans. Charles Fantazzi (I Tatti Renaissance Library, 2004)

Other trees in what remain of the woods here:
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western red cedar (Thuja plicata), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophylla), vine maple (Acer circinatum), red alder (Alnus rubra), black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana), red elder (Sambucus racemosa), Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), Scouler willow (Salix scouleriana).

September 21, 2004 in Natural History | Comments (0)

# 39

George Tsutakawa (1910-1997), Fountain of Reflection, 1967. Courtyard of MacKenzie Hall, University of Washington.

September 5, 2004 | Comments (0)