The Quest of the Purple Fringed

Then at last and following that I found
In the very hour
When the color flushed to the petals, it must have been — 
The far-sought flower.

 

This quest takes two parallel paths – my dad’s, seeking to know the environment around him, and mine, attempting to know my dad.  He has spent his lifetime focused on birds and plants, first as a scientist and later as an educator, paring down his world from far-flung habitats to the forest on his doorstep in rural Vermont.

He now collects data and makes notes, expressing his reserved passion through his intense study and painstaking cataloguing of the natural world. I observe him observing, striving to understand where, how, and in whom I am rooted. In these pictures, my dad and I both witness as a season, a lifetime, momentarily reveals its dimensions, pausing for an instant before the onrush of change.

 

I only knelt and, putting the boughs aside
Looked, or at most
Counted them all to the buds in the copper depth,
Pale as a ghost.

Then I arose and silent wandered home,
And I for one
Said that the fall might come and whirl of leaves,
For summer was done.
 

excerpted from Robert Frost