Sunday, May 15, 2016

Apple Blossom Time nearly over; after a week of rain and wind, these darling buds of May have mostly fallen from the trees. But on last Sunday's ride, the countryside was full of their beauty:

Yellow torches of winter cress were lighting up the verges...

As were dandelions, those cheery harbingers of sunshine to come:

The past few months have been so frenetic, there's been little time for cycling. Plum-blossom time has come and gone, so I felt lucky to find this little tree still blooming:

The sweetest flowers have the shortest lives. But the garlic mustard is always with us:

Tallulah and I had planned our route around the flowers we hoped to see. There's a certain stretch of roadside which is royal with violets every spring, and this year it didn't disappoint us:

"Look at that sea of purple!" says Tallulah. "I wish I could dive into it!"

Tallulah gets her wish

A few hundred yards further is a marsh where kingcups grow. Miss T, who for a turtle is strangely averse to water, sat safely in my pocket whilst I navigated the tussocky ground for a close-up:

We turned to climb up the bank to the road, and there, hiding in the grass, were the first tiny stars of Canada anemone (try staying that 10 times fast):

Back on the bike, we headed around the corner and down the next road. Some small white tufts that looked vaguely like clover blossom proved on closer inspection to be Pussytoes, a fuzzy little flower of the Aster family:

A little farther on, we found the flowers we were most hoping to see:

Greek Valerian or Jacob's Ladder

Last spring I first discovered them growing here, and have been looking forward ever since to seeing them again.

Several miles later, at a favourite willowy bend, Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose shepherded their adorable offspring into the water and away from the strange human with a camera:

Shadow of same, back on the bike:

We passed maple trees decked with dangling blossom, putting out ghostly fingers of leaves:

At the next corner stood more wild apple trees, all glorious in white:

Where's Tallulah?

This is the time of year when Nature layers beauty upon beauty, tint upon tint. Leaf and blossom, pink and violet and burgundy, glow between the fresh emerald of new grass and the soft sapphire of the sky, while a thousand shades of green glimmer from the treetops:

A Favourite Tree seemed glad to see us again, as we were to see it:

Across the road, in the flickering light and shade of the woods, we saw a miracle of blossoms clustered around a mossy trunk:

Doesn't it look like something out of Lord of the Rings? The forest glades of Ithilien come to mind....

Around the corner and down the hill, we're firmly back in the Wisconsin countryside.

It was good to get out on the bike, to feel the sun on my skin, to ride familiar roads, and find flowers and trees I remember from other years blooming still in the same places, adding new beauties to the store of memory.

~ ~ ~

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post. My sister is slowly (so slowly) getting better, though some difficult decisions lie ahead for her. My dad continues to need help and care. Blogging and cycling have to take a back seat right now, but I hope some day to be able to do more of both.

How is May treating you?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~