203: Close-up look at spring

(Maple tree pink fuzzies.)

When the April wind wakes the call for the soil, I hold the plough as my only hold upon the earth, and, as I follow through the fresh and fragrant furrow, I am planted with every foot-step, growing, budding, blooming into a spirit of spring.

~ Dallas Lore Sharp, 1870-1929

It’s a fine spring day here in the Bogs.  The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and buds, blossoms, and flowers are popping up all over the place.  The maple trees are bursting with these pink fuzzy things (flowers? seeds?), making them look as though they are flowering.

When you step outside the front door, the first thing that hits you is the scent of the hyacinths.  It’s almost overwhelming.  It is said the perfume of the hyacinth will help with grief and depression, and the flower symbolizes the power of gentleness.

My mileage for today is only 2 miles.  It’s been a very busy day.  I spent a couple of hours out in the garden, working in the asparagus bed.  I am pleased to announce that we will be eating fresh asparagus soon.  I saw the heads of the first few spears pushing their way up through the dirt.

I am hoping to finish up in the asparagus bed tomorrow so I can start planting seeds.  I’ve decided to start with lettuces and swiss chard.  We’ll see how that goes.  In previous years I’ve been overly ambitious, and things didn’t work out as well as planned.  This year I’m keeping it simple.

The lilacs are budding, and the forsythia are starting to bloom.  Forsythia symbolize the beginning of spring and anticipation.  Lilacs are also associated with spring and new beginnings, particularly new or young love.

Our forsythia bushes are still fairly small.  They are in a windy area, and I think that’s keeping their growth stunted.  The lilacs are having a similar problem.

The pussy willow, which is near the garden, is doing remarkably well this year.  The catkins are in all different stages of development.

The evolution of catkins

Some are still in the budding stage, some are soft and furry, while others are flowering.  This is, in case you want to know, a male pussy willow.  You can tell by the flowers.  Males, apparently, are showier than females.

I spent a lot of time photographing the flowers and buds on the pussy willow.  I may go back out at sunset tonight or sunrise tomorrow to see if I can approach it in a different way.  This is the first time I’ve ever spent so much time exploring the pussy willow, and I’m finding it fascinating.

The pussy willow is associated with good will, motherhood, and in some cultures is thought to represent protection for the home and often given as a gift to new homeowners.

One more photo (my favorite of the bunch) and then I’ll move along to something else.  I’m sure not everyone finds the catkins as interesting as I do.

I saw numerous turtles sunning themselves by the pond.  I did manage to photograph one, but it’s not a very good photo.

Snapping turtle

He kind of looks like a helmet sitting in the grass.  Turtles are not all that easy to capture with the camera.  I know they have a reputation for slow movement, and they can be slow when making their way across the property when it’s time to migrate to another pond.  But when they’re near the pond, they slide into the water pretty quickly whenever someone approaches them.  With the snappers, I prefer not to get too close as I’ve read they can move fast when they feel they’re cornered.  Never, ever, corner a snapping turtle.  Not only will they snap and bite, but they have sharp claws that can cause some serious lacerations.

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  I’ll be back with another edition of spring, Bogs style, tomorrow.  Thank you for stopping by.  🙂

View of the pond taken from the garden area this morning

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24 Comments on “203: Close-up look at spring”

  1. Bo Mackison says:

    Wow, spring has sprung!

    We just crossed the Arizona/New Mexico border–no sign of spring here. Only dust and sand and dry grasses, and signs on the road that warn of zero visibility. Not much sign of life…so your spring photos are doubly welcome.

    • Robin says:

      It’s hard to believe you’re on your way home already, Bo. Time sure did fly by while you were going solo in the desert. I wonder if it felt that way to you, too.

      Yep, spring has indeed sprung. All at once, it seems.

  2. Pat Bean says:

    awesome color and life. Thanks for sharing

  3. they look like totally different flowers close-up–very nice. spring is getting here–my tulips will open by sunday

  4. How pretty! I especially like the forsythia pictures because they remind me of home (Germany, where I grew up). They are called “Goldregen” (golden rain), and you see them everywhere in the spring.
    This particular view of the pond is really pretty, too.

  5. Beautiful! I find the pussy willow just as fascinating as you do, so don’t refrain from posting more shots. I love the last one; the flowers against the blue sky are stunning.
    The daffodils are lovely, too; I really like the post-processing effects. And the last shot with the pond, the trees, the hill and the house is great!
    So much beauty cheers me up even more!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, SunsetSeaSoul. 🙂

      It’s hard not to be cheered up in the spring months. I know you’re into autumn now. It will be interesting to compare your autumn with my spring, and your winter with my summer.

  6. Goodness, Robin–who would have ever thought pussy willows could be so stunning! Thanks so much for sharing these photos!
    Kathy

    • Robin says:

      To be honest, Kathy, I had no idea pussy willows go through all these transformations. This outdoor commitment is teaching me about a lot of things, big and little, day by day.

  7. Kala says:

    Spring has certainly sprung in the bogs! Love the photo of the hyacinth.

  8. Karma says:

    I like your catkin study! I had no idea about the stages those little fuzzy things go through.
    I love the smell of hyacinths. Sadly, I think all my hyacinth bulbs were eaten by moles. 😦

  9. Robin says:

    Thanks everyone! 🙂

    (I know. This is lame. A generic thank you. I prefer to answer comments individually but have so much going on lately that I can’t keep up. Please know that I do appreciate your visits and comments.)

  10. subha says:

    i am continuously amazed by the wildlife and flowers you have on your property – they are amazing

  11. Marianne says:

    Robin, the flowers are lovely! It’s so great to see the seeds you’re planting, it will be nice to see photos of your garden and the fresh produce you’re growing.

  12. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Those are fascinating closeups of the pussy willows, which I love. So much to explore when we get in close! Love the contrast of the bright daffodils against the neutral grasses…

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Barbara. 🙂

      I’m learning a lot about all the places one can explore outside. Sometimes I can stand in one place and explore what appear to be whole worlds.

      The daffodils in the grasses in my favorite photo of this group. Not sure why. Maybe because it seems to represent both life and death (the new flowers growing amongst last year’s dead grasses).

  13. Val Erde says:

    Those catkins are gorgeous! These photos put mine to shame (I started a photo blog recently and have lapsed somewhat with it) – it makes me want to take more now.

    Your photos are wonderful. I love them!
    🙂


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