I hate to flip the calendar page on the 31st of May—and leave, again, the most optimistic, joyous month of the year. It’s a time of year that demands superlatives, exclamation marks and words commonly found in comic strips, like Wow and Shazaam. May is the month that reminds us annually of the reasons that we’ve chosen to live here. It’s the month that looks back on the ice clad, broken-window-scraper mornings of February and laughs. It’s the month where we know we can finally, without regret, take the pile of rubber boot grippers out of the back of the car. May is the month that helps us fully understand that yes, we’ve made another trip around the sun, and yet again have the privilege of witnessing the beginning of something powerful, amazing and to be cherished. It’s a month of momentum and anticipation, with thirty-one days full of such varied landmarks that every one of them seems to bring with it something new to this year but common to each recurring May.
Among these landmarks on the floodplain: the early May wood ducks in the still bare treetops, already in pairs and searching for nest sites. A few days later, the budding of the hickory trees. The sudden, overnight leafing out of the silver maples. Fiddleheads, followed by the dizzying green of the later May fern. Songbirds, head thrown back, beaks open to the sky pouring out their song from the treetops. Nest building. The ground one morning in late May covered with samaras as the silver maples release them like great handfuls of confetti, while chipmunks wade through them stuffing their cheeks. May. Wow.
Here are a selection in photos of some of May’s landmark events. All were taken early in the morning, this being the best time to appreciate the transformation of May from a quiet golden month to a vibrant, pulsing green one.