231: The Big BangPosted: May 12, 2011
That’s what we woke up to this morning. Not a crash. Not a boom. But a BANG. A BIG bang. It was as if a giant up in the sky crashed his fist down on the ground creating not only a bang, but a shaking and rattling of the house. It was an early morning thunderstorm — much better than any alarm clock — informing us that it was time to wake up and get moving.
I like waking up to the sound of rain. I’m not sure about the sound of BANG as it was startling (to say the least), but the rain sounds were nice. A storm is almost as energizing as a cup of coffee or tea.
(Remember that Emerson quote about how the Earth laughs in flowers? The photo of the tulips reminds me of that. Click on it — or any of the photos — to see the slightly larger version.)
One of the things I love most at Longwood Gardens are the trees. My favorites are the copper beeches which I seem to be unable to capture well in a photograph. The tree pictured above is an American Elm. There was once an avenue of elms at Longwood Gardens. All but this one were killed off by Dutch Elm disease. It’s hard to portray in a photo but it is a very impressive tree. I could spend hours lying under it, tracing the branches with my eyes, enjoying the shade, and watching the clouds go by.
Elm is a tree whose spirit is one of the kindest I have ever met. Its essence gently lends strength to the individual. It assists the individual in overcoming exhaustion — especially that which has accumulated over great lengths of time. It helps the individual to access more universal sources of strength so that your own individual strength will not be tapped and expended.
This is the Tree of Intuition and its appearance is always a reminder to trust your intuition. Find strength in listening to your own inner voice. The elm serves as a catalyst to sensing, feeling and even seeing that which is not always visible.
~ Ted Andrews, Nature-Speak
Today’s outdoor adventures
A few weeks ago it seemed like Spring was moving in slow motion. Today it’s as if she put herself in fast-forward mode. There are flowers everywhere I look. Our azaleas are blooming, a thrill to see as we have not always had great success with azaleas (or rhododendrons, for that matter).
The lawn is dotted with all sorts of tiny flowers, including Thyme-leaved Speedwell. It’s a little white and blue flower that hasn’t taken well to photography just yet. I will keep trying, but I’m not sure my camera is up to that sort of macro experience.
We are having a 3H day here in the Bogs. Hot, hazy, and humid. The kind of day usually reserved for July or August. If the chorus coming from the trees is any indication, the tree frogs are loving it.
The red-winged blackbirds who live near the willows came charging at me as I walked down that way. Both Mama and Papa birds were there today, giving me lots of trash talk and chatter. I assured them that I would not harm their babies, but they were too busy raising their own voices to hear mine.
I put on my hiking boots today so I could go down into the woods to visit the fairy stump and the creek. The spring rains have been a boon to the mosquito population. From now until the first frost, I will probably have to start using insect repellent of some sort if I want to continue visiting the creek. Yuck, but a necessary yuck.
I stopped by the fairy stump on my way to the creek. The Spring Beauties have just about finished blooming but there are still a few scattered about. No one was home at the stump but I did find this addition to their furniture:
The forest floor is carpeted with all sorts of plants and flowers. Each section of the woods is a little like stepping into a different room of a house. Some sections have bunches of bluets:
Some are covered with apple blossoms, mosses, leaves, and twigs:
There is a section where the wood strawberries have spread out to blossom and grow. And throughout it all, there are purple violets blooming almost everywhere you look.
The creek has finally gone back to its banks. The ground is still mushy and muddy. None the worse for it, though, as plant life is popping up everywhere, even where the vernal pools were sitting a week or so ago.
I walked all through the woods today, and then out to the cattails and the lower part of the timothy grass meadow.
I made my way through the lower part of the meadow where I was joined by a butterfly who led the way to the vegetable garden.
Before we got to the garden, I stopped to admire the baby oak leaves.
In the garden I picked a handful of asparagus which we’ll have with dinner tonight, and then it was time to end my walk and head back to the house.
Thank you for joining me on my walk today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Spring is such a beautiful season. There is so much to see it is impossible for me to include it all (or I’d be blogging for days trying to describe one walk!).
A big hello and welcome to my new visitors/subscribers, as well as a big hello and hugs to my regular blog friends. Please excuse me if I get behind in emails, visits, answering comments, etc. Yesterday’s Freshly Pressed experience was (pleasantly) overwhelming. For those inquiring minds who asked me questions, I’ll be getting back to you as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience. 🙂