signs of winter ~

haiku for today:

moon bright, exposé

windswept debris shadowing

silent red-tailed fox

~ ~ ~

Funny pronunciation misunderstanding (funny to me) anecdote:

Last night I was working with one of the students I tutor; hereafter referred to as “S.” S and I were editing a story S had written.

Commenting about the relatively mild weather we’d been having, S mentioned that one signal he’d noticed of when deeper cold was settling in was that the squills were inactive. The story we’d been working on included several detailed references to nature and landscapes, and most everyone who knows me soon learns I love flowers, so it didn’t seem odd to me that S would use a specific flower name.

What did confuse me was that I know squill as an early spring flower (I still remember a photo I took years ago of a beautiful drift of squill at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania).   And referring to squill as ‘inactive’ sounded odd. Trying to make meaning, I wondered if S was trying to say that squill in bloom was a sign of spring thaw — a sign of the end of winter freeze — rather than winter freeze’s beginning.

This conversation occurred as we were packing our things and exiting our meeting place, and it wasn’t until just after S went one way and I another that my ‘aha’ lightbulb went off!

S is a non-native English speaker, and some sounds are challenging to pronounce.

Squirrels! I laughed out loud ~ squirrels, not squill!

squirrel in a treesquill

When the squirrels stop their frolicking, stop their incessant scampering to and fro, up and down, that’s when S believes the ground has frozen.

Interesting theory.

Wishing you visions of squill, squirrels, and sugarplums on this beautiful moonlit evening ~ ~ ~

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