While strolling in the pasture one day
In the very merry month of May
I was taken by surprise
By a rattling over yonder
And jumped a hundred feet the other way.
Yes, tis the season.
Earth is on the move.
Freezes finished their tour.
Like record-breaking 95.
And some mornings…still.
Merry weather for that with a feather.
Nest-building madness abounds.
Lizards languish in the sun.
Snapping turtles and armadillos.
Usually smashed on the road.
May, May, May.
The month of Cinco de Mayo.
And Mother’s Day.
And last month of school.
A month of birthdays.
Second sign of the zodiac.
From Middle English, derived from Latin.
Meaning “bull” (or ox, probably).
So says trusty Webster.
And that was derived from Indo-European “tauros.”
Meaning to swell, like a swollen thumb.
Taurus is also up in the sky.
A North constellation between Aries and Orion.
Contains the Hyades and the Pleiades star clusters.
And also the Crab nebula, and Aldebaran.
Aldebaran is Arabic, meaning “to follow.”
Named so because it follows the Pleiades.
Being an orange, giant binary star, it is the brightest star in Taurus.
Just ask Webster.
As for the Crab nebula, that’s no star.
Merely a crab-shaped, rapidly expanding cloud of gas in the constellation.
That can’t be good.
Some believe it to be remnants of a supernova from A.D. 1054.
A nova is one thing, but a supernova is quite another.
Basically it’s a star that suddenly increases in brightness up to 14 magnitudes.
And then decreases gradually over time.
Sort of a celestial overnight stardom that immediately begins to fade.
Can’t be easy being a star.
All this and more hangs over our heads every night.
A star-spangled banner.
Not always visible every night, depending on weather.
But the night skies are mostly clear here.
And dark enough to razzle dazzle the viewer.
In spite of streetlights.
That’s harder and harder to find.
Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.