Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Outlines of Spring

The approach of Spring is a miraculous time, as the earth wakes from its brown-and-grey slumber and begins to dress itself for the year. An early thaw and a few sunny days are all it takes to effect a total transformation - from white and snowy, through wet and muddy, to suddenly, shyly green.

Of course "Spring" is a flexible term here in Wisconsin. It can mean this (photo taken two days ago, on my Sunday walk):

OR this:

(The snowy photo is from two weeks ago, but by all accounts we're in for more of it this week.)

In spring, the colours seem to wake with the earth; the buffs and browns of dead grasses look richer and more golden; red-twig dogwood glows more brightly than ever; and water, released from its icy prison, shimmers newly blue under the pale aquamarine sky.

Tree branches that have been stark and bare for months take on exciting new outlines that hint at the glories to come. Some look beaded:

Some are frothy with new twiggy growth:

 And some burst into fern-like silhouettes:

Even those trees that haven't yet burst into bloom are in an interesting condition, sporting suggestive bumps at the tips of their branches:

Spring has its own clouds, too (or so I like to think) - slender, almost flat-looking; horizontal rather than vertical, their undersides tinted a delicate grey, like the ones floating over this thicket:

(How did the moon sneak into that photo? I never noticed it at the time.)

A less-delicate outline of spring appears on the trail in front of me - the shadow of a crocheter who's spent too much time on her bum lately, and not enough time outdoors:

Let's look at more branches instead. :) Here, another tree reaches to the sky, with long slim fingers bedecked like those of a very old (or very young) woman wearing stacks of jewelled rings:

Look at the perfect symmetry of the buds as they tiptoe up the branches:

A cold west wind is blowing the flat clouds over the eastern horizon, and the moon now floats serenely over the withered grasses of the prairie restoration project:

The sky is full of contrails streaking from east to west and back again, proving that the migratory urge is strong in humans as well as in birds:

Closer to earth, I see bright lichen on tree trunks (and think of Jacquie's recent post, which has similar photos):

One last shot of the moon, this time starring in a photo of her own:

For some, the landscape may seem monotonous just now. But Nature the artist is hard at work on her sketch; she's finished the outlines, and is daily adding more detail. Soon she'll take brush and palette in hand; then all those bumps and beads and feathery bits will be touched with colour as she continues to paint the portrait of the year.


What colour is your Spring right now?

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  1. This is beautiful. I can relate to the sun one day and snow the next. That literally happened here today. I wore flip flops yesterday and today? Snow. But it's already melted and I can see promises of spring in the trees and bushes around me. Happy Spring!

  2. I love the blackbird in the tree and the hint of things to come in the form of buds. You certainly captured some pretty skies and I especially like the last one of the moon. Our weather is like yours: changeable. It's very windy at the moment and the forecast for Easter seems to be showers and cooling winds. Oh well!

  3. Such beautiful pictures. Your moon picture is just great. I love this time of year when nature seems to awake and you actually feel that it won't be long before everything will turn green again. Unfortunately we had so much rain the last weeks that you have to wear wellies when leaving the paths. Viola

  4. Beautiful photos. Wasn't the moon really pretty this month???

    We had a rocket launch last night and I was so hoping the rocket AND the moon would be in the same photo. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way (and my rocket photo was TERRIBLE)!

    I'll just have to enjoy YOUR photos today seeing as I have none of my own. LOL

  5. Beautifully descriptive post Sue and lovely photo's as always. This crocheter has also spent too much time on her bum of late and she still veers shy of the outdoors it will have to warm up a little more before she ventures out too far. The daffodils have just appeared in my borders the buds are still closed but I'm hope my Spring will be sunshiny yellow very soon. Have a lovely Easter. :) xx

  6. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It is an exciting time for me, so much anticipation.

  8. A very enjoyable post seeing your landscape coming alive.. I enjoyed the moon sneaking into your photo. :-) We have lots of flowers in bloom here! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. We've had some blue skies too! Still chilly and the trees are bare but I have snowdrops, irises and some daffs in the garden so we're getting there for colour. I like the muted colours though - especially the reeds in your river/lake picture!

  10. Such lovely pictures as always. That might not have been the moon. Our weather guy was saying that you could see Jupiter in the sky, so maybe it was Jupiter Rising. :) Keep those awesome pictures coming sweet friend. :)

  11. I hope that wonderful springy things are coming your way! xx

  12. You are right. even the light changes in spring - bright and warm.
    The buds on the trees are indeed like beads :)Loved the capture of the moon too.
    Thanks for sharing the views...

  13. I enjoyed seeing all those twiggy photos and beautiful blue sky....hasn't been too much of that round here recently. Did you get a cold snap this week I wonder? maybe the last one for the year? Juliex

  14. Beautiful photographs. It's still cool here, not many signs of spring under the grey sky. But there is hope! :-)

  15. Once more you have captured with words and photos and humor, the beauty in the world around you, Sue. Thanks for sharing. The world around me is full of bursts of colors here and there, majestic white Mt. Hood, a tulip tree with pink blossoms, and lots of fluffy gray clouds full of rain down here in the valley :) xx

  16. Spring is a beautiful season especially after a chilly winter. Hugs to you Sue, thank you for sharing with us.

  17. Even with the changeable weather spring is my favorite season, get the feeling you're pretty fond of it too.

  18. 50 shades of white out my window! You got some lovely shots here, especially the beaded limbs and the contrails!

    Maybe spring will come... just maybe...

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  20. My oh my! You certainly have a way with words. Very eloquently written and gorgeous photographs to match.

  21. We have a long spring in Oregon from the end of January when the first snowdrops appear through June when the last of the rhodies bloom. Right now, we've taken a leap forward into summer. The last couple days have been in the mid 80s breaking records that have stood for over 100 years.

  22. We have a long spring in Oregon from the end of January when the first snowdrops appear through June when the last of the rhodies bloom. Right now, we've taken a leap forward into summer. The last couple days have been in the mid 80s breaking records that have stood for over 100 years.

  23. I've just discovered your blog and I love the way you talk/write; makes me smile. the photos are beautiful, keep on!


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