I was able to get down to the path along the millrace and through the woods by the dam during a brief period of sunshine yesterday. Glorious new green growth is opening everywhere -- interspersed with the greys and tans of last year's remnants. And the occasional bright red and yellow flash of a red-winged blackbird, and the echo of its konk-la-ree call. Springtime!
I don't know what this plant is, but its leaves are opening with a enthusiastic bronze burst. There were enough in this section of the Shoup-Parsons Woods to give a bronze tint to the underlayer. Some look like they will soon bloom. One cluster was a burst of bright green in the sunlight. Spring!
We went into the woods by the dam this afternoon. A week ago this was all browns and grays. Today there was a hint of green and, if you looked carefully, tiny wild flowers scattered here and there. I can guess at a few: trout lily, mayapple, trillium, dutchman's breeches. But what's in a name? We enjoyed the sighting of them and their colors and new life, whether or not we could name them.
Early spring reveals bare bones: curving lines of thorny cane, tangles of grapevine knots, ashy remnants of a prairie-burn. These sights seem to fit with this week of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, when we are reminded of the bare bones of suffering and death. Sometimes the bareness clears the way for glimpses of new life: fungi on a fallen tree trunk, a secret store, a lilac bud.
More of the spring roller-coaster ride. Friday was warm and lovely and John called from work and said, "Let's have a picnic supper." So we did, walking through Witmer Woods down to the college cabin. We found a number of trees with tassels of various sorts. And one lone sock, left on a campus sidewalk, presumably while the owner reveled in walking barefoot through the grass.
The warmth brought the daffodils out -- just in time for the cold temperatures and inch of snow early this week. But today the sun is shining, the daffodils are still bright yellow, and I've spotted a fox sparrow running from bush to bush in my backyard (first time I've ever seen one here -- and he's going too fast for a photo).
Spring is the bright white and gold of crocus pushing their way up through green pachysandra in a sheltered window well. Spring is also the muck and mess of dirty piles of snow slowly melting on a gray cloudy day. It's a path through woods that are still wintry gray and it's sun on last year's sunlit leaf hanging by this year's bud. It's the mud in the middle of the path and it's the new life tentatively emerging.
Finally we've made the transition to spring. it has warmed up enough that heading out for a walk is pleasant, rather than a major undertaking, and I've been gathering signs of spring.
Today I'm seeing ducks as they waddle their way through our neighborhood, checking out our backyard for nesting possibilities, and the neighbor's drive for other modes of transportation.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"