Tag Archives: Project 365

Spring Marvel

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous ~ Aristotle


When the warm weather hits, those of us who live in colder climates suddenly think that 60 degrees is a heatwave. Over the cold, snowy months, our skins have forgotten that we felt a chill in the air in late September when the mercury dipped to 60. Usually we know that it is only for a few, carefree days and that we cannot put away our scarfs and coats and boots.

Sometimes, though, we are lulled by continuous days of warmth. Even the trees this year may end up being fooled. Typically, I see the yellows of the daffodils beginning in mid to late March. April brings the purple hyacinths, followed by the white budding trees — fruit trees that have been hybridized so that all their energy goes into a lush bloom, with nothing left for a fruit; dogwoods, ash and elders. The magnolias and red buds soon follow, creating horizons of pink, purple and white. And then, just as the magnificent rainbow of colors is ending, all shades of green pop as the leaves unfurl.

It has been so warm that this year, everything is bursting into bloom at the same time. The viburnum’s pink buds will be here before the jonquils have faded. The blue bells will add to an Easter basket look across the yards. The tulips in all their glory will be fighting for attention with the other colorful flowers that are usually here and gone by May. The tulips don’t look like they will wait that long though.

Everybody, after a winter cooped up inside — even a mild winter — can’t wait to be outside. Kids from a basketball team gathered at an ice cream shop yesterday. How odd to see them come from their game in their uniforms in the middle of March. flip-flops, short shorts, and tank tops were the uniform of the day in the parks. Nobody is going to want to go back to heavy coats now. While we can go back, even if reluctantly, what will the plants do if there is yet another freeze?

I love this time of year because of the incremental changes in nature that happen so quickly. It seems simple: brown, to buds, to colorful blooms, to green. It all happens within a few weeks for any individual plant or tree. When it gets so warm — into the 70’s and even the 80’s already this month — everything seems to happen at the same time. There is hardly time to notice how marvelously each stanza of the Spring song is played.

Just as easy to overlook is the mass of white on a tree.  What makes up that white cloud? What looks so beautiful in its simplicity is really a marvel of complexity.  Einstein said that everything should be made as simply as possible, but not simpler.  There is nothing simple about a bloom or a tree or Spring.  Take a moment.  Look.  Marvel.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Recently, I’ve been captivated by reflections, whether it is an actual reflection in a pool of water. the way the light shimmers reflectively through a window, or a more metaphoric reflection, one of reflecting on life and the world around me.

Here is my entry for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, an unusual view of a bridge, with an unusual reflection as well.

Unusual View: Under the Bridge

Early Spring Garden Tour – Closeup Edition

Yellow & White Jonquil

Orange and White

Petal and Bug

Stinky Bug, Smelly Flower

The Center is Orange


Purple-y Blur

The last scilla bloom, just before fading away

500 Hundred Miles

I walked today in a different direction than I usually do. While this is more like 5 miles away from home, rather than 500 — and only about 500 feet from a busy intersection — located away from the road, next to the creek, and along the greenway, this seems like it is in a different world.

Railroad Trestle Across the Creek

Love the angles

Another view

Looks like a stairway to me

Angles and Rust

Under the Trestle

The Other Side of the Tracks

This seems like an appropriate soundtrack:

April showers may bring May flowers, but warm weather brings them sooner.

Some people think that photographing flowers is blah. For me, it’s that time of year when I always fear that I will burn out the sensor in my camera!

Two shots from today:

A bunch of daffodils sprout against the wall in this spot every year. This year, they’re among the first to bloom.

Love the shadows against the stone.

This lone blue flower surfaced between two rocks at the edge of our koi pond. I have no idea what it is, but it sure is pretty!

A lone volunteer

Sunday Quote (2012 Week 11)

Beauty — be not caused — It is.

~ Emily Dickinson

Naples Botanical Garden, January 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Today, after walking about 6.5 miles, I stopped at a bench along the trail. I stretched out along the length of the bench, but I was concerned that once I laid down, I might not get up again for a while, either because I fell asleep or because it just was not physically possible. As I looked up towards the sky, I couldn’t help but notice the contrasting white and black branches against the cloudless, blue sky. Camera to the rescue: of course I could move! I reached down into my backpack for my camera, focused and started shooting.

Yin/Yang Branches: Birch & Elm

Not sure which was more energizing — the physical rest or the calm from looking up at the trees. Either way, I soon was on my way, with enough energy for the next 3.75 miles towards home. The final quarter-mile — that’s another story!

Hellebore Cinnamon Snow

Hellebore Cinnamon Snow: These words have appeared a few times recently as search queries used to find this blog. I have no idea if there is a variety of hellebore called Cinnamon Snow, but I like the sound of the three words together. I think it could be the start of a lovely poem.


the flowers make a poem all their own.

Sunlight on Stem

Two blooms welcoming spring

Cinnamon sprinkles on snow petals

A “blaze” and some bliss

This week’s Photo Friday Challenge is BLAZE. I knew immediately, when reading the challenge email early this morning, what photograph I would use, although I had thought initially that it was one that wouldn’t make it into the ‘share’ pile. I was experimenting with shooting glass pieces reflecting against a large window at night when I decided to see what sort of abstract I could produce with a long, handheld exposure. Not sure that I thought I’d get this result, but I like how it looks like the woods are on fire.

Blazing Trees

And, as I’ve done for the last few weeks, here is this week’s List of Moments of Bliss. See other’s Bliss Lists at Liv Lane’s blog.

1. Frying an egg perfectly — and admitting that it was the first time ever!   I’ve been afraid to try to fry an egg for at least 20 years.  Having never learned how, I failed miserably at making eggs the way that I liked: with set whites without any crispy, brown edges and a warm, runny yoke. Now that I know how to cook — something I didn’t learn until I was in my 40’s — I was a bit embarrassed that I still couldn’t fry an egg. So I tried. You know what?  It’s easy if you know how. I used this recipe by Alton Brown, though I would rename it something a bit less gender-oriented. The secret is low heat, and a lid for the pan. I still think I make an awesome scrambled egg, but I’m happy that I can now make eggs the way I like them. This is especially useful since I don’t have the resources to go to France — where I think they only serve them this way — on a whim.

2. I had coffee on Saturday with two dear friends — our weekly get-together that, due to lots of life’s circumstances, last happened on 12/31/11.

3. Some friends of mine have a bi-monthly girls-only gourmet dinner. The host choses the menu and each person brings the specified dish. Due to a last-minute cancellation, I was asked to sub. Although we all agreed that the too-rare standing rib roast was not our favorite, we enjoyed the meal. What fun to share a meal and laughs with good friends and new friends. My cat allergies (the reason I have declined joining the group of 5 cat-loving cooks permanently) stayed at bay until it was time to leave.

4. February is over and March is here! In Indiana, March can be any of the four seasons — and sometimes all of them, it seems, on the same day. Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day; today is colder and blustery with a chill that reminds me that there are still officially a few more weeks of winter.

5. I took my son to the dentist. While a dental visit is not usually blissful, the time spent with my son was. To understand the circumstances, you can read about it here, or a slightly better, edited version on my Open Salon blog.

Photographing a Cliché

The Light

At The End

Of The Tunnel

Do you have a cliché you’ve photographed? If so, leave a link in the comments.