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Plum blossom dancing on bare brown twigs
Birdsong weaving a web of music
Lilac bushes pregnant with promise
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After two days of damp and cold, the sun finally broke through late this afternoon, adding a touch of warmth to our chilly spring day. (No more heat wave for us.) Lawn mowers could be heard around the neighbourhood as I set off, including one in our own yard. The landlord's son-in-law has come with his riding mower to decapitate our violets. (Dang!) Luckily they've only just started blooming and may live to blossom again in a week or two.
Quite a nippy east wind is blowing today, making me wish I'd worn my tights. My legs have been anointed with a tea tree-and-peppermint-oil concoction to help guard against ticks - Lyme's disease is already making its rounds, to the consternation of many. I want to be protected while prancing through the brush to take pictures, and an ounce of tea tree oil is worth a pound of doxycycline.
Wild plum is blossoming, and I'm lucky enough to find some down a side road, less than a mile outside town. Iris gets parked against a handy tree whilst I and the camera go to investigate.
Such delicate beauty and soft sweetness...
...I could take pictures of these all day.
Time to get back on the bike and head for the main road. On the way I snap this noble stand of birch.
A few miles on, I'm wondering what this tree might be. Ash? (Why didn't I bring my tree guide? And why didn't I take a picture of the bark for better identification?)
The baby leaves are an intense kelly green and look delightful against the blue-and-white sky.
Blackbirds are darting and weaving all along this road. Their call and response echoes around and across me. On every side, birds are singing and swooping and filling the air with the music of spring.
A few miles further, I smell rain. Some heavy grey clouds are drifting over a newly-burned field to my left...
...and to my right, making a dramatic curtain for the sun.
But it's spring in Wisconsin, and five minutes later the weather has changed (again). Pretty standard.
Detail of a rusty bridge railing.
Sandhill cranes hiding in a cornfield.
Pine bark looking like it just ate something sour.
A regiment of pines, stretching out their branches to the sun. The bushes growing at the edge of the forest are almost impossibly green. Everywhere I go, the browns and greys of winter are overlaid by the bright emerald of spring.
A few miles from home, more blossoms. These look a bit different - could they be blackthorn?
They're almost unbearably beautiful.
Almost home now. Just outside town, I pass some young trees (aspen, I think) with smooth grey bark and these delicate frond-like catkins.
It's a wonderful time of year to be alive. And riding!
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