Becketwood Cooperative
An Active, Independent 55+ Community of Owners in Minneapolis

Spring Around the Grounds (or Walk Slowly, Look and Listen)

by Carol Masters and other Becketwood Members

About a dozen Becketwood Members took a nature tour recently led by Members Jane Johnson and Bonnie Sample.  We toured Jane’s favorite bird-watching spots, from the back yard oak stands, through Member gardens, to Fernwood Glen, listening for various birdcalls and spotting, where we were able, the tiny denizens of the canopies—several warblers, great crested flycatcher, woodpeckers, nuthatches, goldfinches, and the dazzling bluebirds. June Peterson let us have a peek at the slumbering bluebird nestlings in the garden “birchbark house,” as mama waited nearby with a morning snack.


Gene Peterson, Jane, and Bonnie pointed out many blooming spring wildflowers along the path, like jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, May apple, marsh mallow, wood poppy, forget-me-nots and, just past blooming, Dutchman’s breeches and bloodroot. We’re very grateful to the Petersons and the Becketwood botanists who have developed and tended this woodland wild garden over the years.

forget-me-not trillium

Less wild, but stunning and flourishing are the “bridal wreath” spirea bushes that nearly surround us this May. Here is a commemorative poem by Member Marilyn Johnson:

To Susie on Her Ninth Wedding Anniversary

Of all the blooms I would bequeath

Behold the glorious bridal wreath!

Sweeping fronds, exquisite lace

Layers spun with delicate grace.

That marks our passage into June

To welcome summer’s honeymoon.

Thence you traveled down the aisle

Adorned as nature would beguile

A glowing, flowing blooming bride,

Flower of mother’s bursting pride.

Of all the blooms I would bequeath

Behold the glorious bridal wreath!


Another celebration of spring and gardens is this lyric by Bill Cavanaugh:

Believe Me,

I can’t suppress the urge to help

when I see you in the garden;

you know I hate to dig up weeds

and don’t despise the spider mites,

the nematodes or aphid ills.


It’s not the idler’s guilt I feel

or reverence for a forward flower:

Just you—among the daffodils—

who make me lift the trowel and kneel

beside you in your April bower.


And by Maggie Easter, an appreciation of the warming days:


Warming of the air and heart
when the sun shines brightly from the start
of the day until it sets later at night.
Grass is greening
and trees are budding
with luscious colors
of green, white, pink.
Birds are returning
with chirping and splashing
in birdbath to clean off their feathers
from long flights North
The yellow of dandelions
spreads across lawns that are not sprayed
or dug or deadheaded
of that yellow flower we call a weed.
Squirrels search for nuts they hid
and forgot where.
Robins cock their heads
listening for worms beneath the surface
then stretch one out as they pull it up.
And we humans bask in sunlight
for the Vitamin D which we have been deprived
of most of the cloudy winter,
adjust our bodies to the warming weather
by shedding cloak and sweater.

The beauty of Spring has arrived
and the smiles of warm weather
shows our gratitude
that Spring is here.

dandelion hill



Leave a Reply

  • Sonja Walker May 25, 2016, 6:55 pm

    Lovely–photos, poems, commentary certainly agrees. Thank you all.