Thunder begins and hibernating insects wake up. So goes the entry for the solar term of Insects Awaken. This term began March 5th. At first it seemed like things were indeed warming up. Then Mother Nature did an about face, the jet stream took a nose dive and then we were facing a substantial snowstorm. Hardly a good time for insects or anyone to venture out. Yes, the snow arrived Monday evening and it was widespread but prior to this it rained, then froze, leaving all the branches coated in a layers of ice. By mid-morning on Tuesday the sun was out briefly and then retreated. The birds had been scratching the ground because of ice on the feeders so I threw extra seed on the porch steps.
A nice fire in the fireplace encouraged the cats to curl up in their beds on the futon and have a kitty style snow day of napping. And While Charli may not be happy in her cage, she is warm and dry and full of food and can look out the back window from her perch to see the snow she’s not having to deal with. While it warmed up enough during the day to melt most of the snow early this morning the wind began to rise. The weather report has a high wind advisory for the whole day and as soon as the sun was up it really started to blow.It looks like another day to keep the fire going since even without the wind chill the temperatures will be in the twenties. I feel sorry for the mail man,
The first pentad of Insects Awaken is 桃始華 which translates as “The peaches begin to blossom”. The young tree which came up in my yard I suspected was an apple does in fact have several clusters of blossoms for the first time. Whether there will be fruit after this turn in the weather I don’t know. The second pentad 鷹化為鳩 is “Orioles sing clearly.” This does not refer to the New World bird, one variety of which the Major League baseball team is named for, but the true orioles of Asia. New World orioles are in the genus Icterus of the blackbird family. Only Old World orioles constitute the family Oriolidae. They are very similar in almost every way: size, diet, behavior, and strongly vivid plumage and considered a good example of convergent evolution.
The last pentad is 鷹化為鳩 “Eagles are transformed into doves”. This is another ambiguous one. Perhaps as things warm up and food becomes more plentiful all nature becomes more benign. The Chinese language is full of allegorical expressions and sayings so old the original meanings are sometimes lost in the mists of time so find your own meaning. Finding your own meaning is the most important thing we can do with any aspect of our lives, anyway.