Friday, June 28, 2019

daylilies and hummingbirds

Global Climate Strike scheduled for Friday, September 20.  Plan ahead to show that 
you accept that this is a #ClimateEmergency and that you don't accept government inaction! 

The pretty stripes above are a powerful graphic depiction of climate warming in my state of Maryland. Each stripe represents the average annual temperature of one year between 1895 and 2018. "These are just normal fluctuations over time," say the climate change deniers--but there is no doubt that the trend we see starting in about 1985 is a strong, consistent shift.  You can go to and get the warming stripes graphic for your location too.  Share the knowledge, friends.


Why?  Why am I harping on?  Here are some reasons within my view this morning on my patio.
This particular bloom was a great triumph, because our daylilies were not doing well until we cleared out the avalanche of trumpet vine that was choking it.  Then, just as they were getting ready to finally pop, Fiona and I met a pair of young stags on the road behind us, and we are 99% certain that one of them bounded back through our yard and stopped for a tasting at our Daylily Buffet!  Of the 18 stalks that had flowers developing, there were only 4 left the next morning.  Here's my daylily poem:

orange daylilies stand
long-necked in creeks of green
along every road
flocks of June herons

ours haven’t landed yet
late bloomers
just opening their beaks
©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

I'm harping on because as I'm sitting here, this appears:

blue-grey buzz of 
long-beaked hover
coming back
hanging just 
out of reach whenever
I think you've
instadraft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

I'm harping on because we poets, "we love the Earth...we love our planet...we love the is our home." (You might like to watch the amusing and not very "clean version" of the not super-poetic music video below, which seems aimed at 12-year-old boys.  You have been warned.)

I'm harping on also because see, L'il Dicky knows that if you want to capture the attention of 12-year-old boys, you put foul-mouthed animated pigs and farting skunks on YouTube, because it's likely that many of those kids have not noticed a daylily or seen a live hummingbird or pig or skunk to fall in love with.  We all of us are losing daily touch with nature, or if we're touching it, it's encased in plastic or it's 2D on an electronic screen.

As spring came on in 2nd grade and we spent more time outdoors, I found myself having to explain to 8-year-olds that they are SUPPOSED to actually TOUCH nature, get dirty, get scraped and bruised and sweaty--"it's how your body learns about the world," I said.  They all just wanted endless band-aids.  
I finally decided to provide unlimited, self-determined band-aids (but not unlimited visits to the nurse!).  And Karen Boss's DMC Challenge over at Today's Little Ditty with Michelle Heidenrich Barnes gave me the perfect opportunity to expand on a new, more powerful purpose for band-aids.  Thanks to Michelle for featuring this at her blog; now you can read it here too!

©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

Thanks to Buffy over at Buffy's Blog for hosting us today.  I hope you get a little dirty and hot and bruised on your way over and that your path is lined with daylilies and hummingbirds and not animated expletives.  And don't forget to start thinking about what you can do to make a noise on September 20.  #ThisIsZeroHour.


  1. Ah ha! That's the inspiration for this wonderful poem. And, harp away, Heidi. You're right. The younger generation doesn't get news/information from the same places or ways that we do. The stripes are pretty...but also scary. I'm so thankful that YOU connect young people to the earth and remind us poets not to be complacent.

  2. I love this! "This band-aid is your badge of honor."

  3. We all need to be harping. And yes to encouraging your kiddos to wear a band-aid as a badge of honor! (But sorry about your daylily buffet. I kind of love that daylily as heron metaphor!)

  4. Very cool daylily poem, Heidi, and I like your banner, even as it scares me.
    "They all just wanted endless band-aids" made me laugh, although I remember back in the day when I could buy myself some quiet time by giving one of my kids a bunch of band-aids.
    I wonder if there are any groups who support bringing plants into classrooms? It's great to get the kids outside, but bringing a little outside in could be useful too. (I just looked it up and found this:

  5. I actually thought your last line was going to be 'These scratches are your badge of honour.' :) We're not allowed to give bandaids in schools (allergies) so for us it's the ice-pack!! (It used to be bag of frozen peas - and kids thought peas had special healing properties.)

  6. What a conundrum...getting rid of the trumpet vine to save the lilies, saving the lilies provides a snack for deer, trumpet vine provides snack for hummingbird, poet sees it all and shares it with the world.

    I'm on a "get kids outdoors" sort of rant in my post this week. Just downloaded Ohio's and the world's stripes. Thinking hard about how to get my fifth graders involved. Thanks for harping.

  7. I love your daylilly herons and your perfect bandaid ditty!

  8. Just downloaded the stripes for Canada. It's really terrifying! Thanks for that.
    Never stop harping. We need more voices.
    Just last night we were at a party where someone claimed that we don't have signs of climate change. I asked, what about the forest fires. After they claimed that had to do with pine beetle destruction, I explained that we have pine beetle damage because it doesn't get cold enough in the winter to kill the creatures. Sometimes you have to make connections for people.

  9. I love your poetic advice to your students and all children--bandaids and even more the blisters, scars and callouses are badges of honor. Here's to all children being able to go and explore. Now off to inspire some government leaders that we need to take action.

  10. Loved hearing about your nature encounters, Heidi! (No doubt that stag appreciated you getting the trumpet vine out of the way.) And thanks also for the second helping of "Risk It." Similar to your students, I've always felt a bit disappointed about how wimpy my kids are when it comes to rain! Don't know where they got it, but certainly not from me!

  11. Scary graphics I looked at my state, IL but I appreciate your sharing them.Yay for your band-aid poem and the "We Love the Earth Video! What a state of our earth's affairs.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!