Spring Wildflowers and Blossoms

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It’s no secret that I absolutely love spring! Everything returns to life, and all the color comes back in the world. I know I take a lot of very similar photos each year. To my regulars, I can only say, bear with me. I have to get the flower/blossom photos out of my system. What can I say? It’s an obsession.

Perhaps, these first two are a type of Anemone? Both of them and the next two were taken at Burgess Falls last week. These blossoms were the only ones I saw there. I caught the scent of Trailing Trillium; however, they aren’t blooming yet. Those plants were still fairly small. These next two are the same plant. Every single year, I have to look up this flower; and every single year, I’m left uncertain as to whether or not it is Periwinkle or some other phlox. I’m almost certain, this year at least, that it is Vinca minor. Apparently, last year I uploaded a photo of this plant to Project Noah and got an ID. Now, if I could just get it to stick in my brain….

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The one below I did edit a bit to brighten up the blossom because it was in my shadow. I loved that I found one still curled up like this. Hopefully, I’ll get around to sketching it this year.

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The remaining photos are all from today. I walked around our yard to see what all was blooming. Every spring these tiny Common Blue Violets and Confederate Violets pop up everywhere, all over the yard. I love these little flowers! If we ever move, I’m digging some of these up to take with me.

Common Blue Violet Confederate Violet

I had to laugh when I opened up this next one on my computer to view it. I didn’t even notice the tiny insect on this blossom while I was photographing it. It’s a close cousin of the strawberry, from the same family, Rosacae, commonly known as a mock strawberry (Duchesnea indica, sometimes called Potentilla indica). It also grows all over our yard. The blossoms are incredibly small, themselves, let alone the tiny insect. I’m surprised my camera captured it! (Click on the photo to view larger.)

Wild Strawberry (with a surprise insect)

My neighbor has a lot of these Forsythia bushes in his yard. They are so beautiful! This one is right on the corner of our properties. One day I would love to live somewhere where I can have my own huge flower garden; but for now, hopefully, my neighbor doesn’t mind that I admire his plants each year. I should really make it a point to tell him how much I appreciate their beauty.

Forsythia Blossoms Forsythia Blossom Close-up

The Bradford Pear Trees blossomed quickly with the heavy rains last week and are already shedding their blossoms for leaves. These trees are in another neighbor’s yard and hang over the fence, making it easy to get a few photos each year. Even with all the problems we’ve had living where we do for last few years, mostly with neighbors and landlord issues, these blossoming trees, all the wildflowers, and the natural beauty of this particular area is one of the reasons I love it so. It’s not all bad; but at this point, it’s time to move on. I really hope we find a better place soon.

Bradford Pear Tree Blossoms #1

I probably could have edited this next one to brighten it up a bit, but I left it as-is. I hate that I didn’t get a nice blue sky, though; yet I liked this one because of the hint of a roof-top in the background.

 Bradford Pear Tree Blossoms #2

Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.

From: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – Adventure 10: “The Naval Treaty, Part 1” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Spring, Where Are You?

Light and Shadow

The beginning of this year was much different from last year. Though I would still consider it to have been a mild winter here in Tennessee, last year’s winter was almost non-existent. Spring came very early last year. Not so much this year. In fact, earlier today – on this first day of spring – huge, fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky in a brief downpour. The last three or four weeks brought more snow showers and cold temperatures than most of the earlier weeks of winter. The tree blossoms and spring flowers suffered for it, too. The above photo was taken on March 3, 2013. This small, lone tree was the only tree blooming that day at Cane Creek park (at least, that I saw). In the last couple of weeks, the trees have slowly begun to unfold their delicate spring offerings, revealing a less vibrant display.

Yesterday, as I drove into Cane Creek park for my walk, the tree below caught my eye. After I parked my car, I walked back to take a few photos. Yesterday was more about exercise and fresh air and less about photography, but I never go to Cane Creek without my camera. Thanks to a couple of friends on Facebook, I now know that this is Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia × soulangeana.

Beautiful blossoms, but I was surprised that they had no scent! Yes, I always take the time to smell the flowers. I wonder if the lack of scent has something to do with it being a hybrid or if it’s more to do with the colder weather? My curiosity will probably lead me to research why flowers have a scent to begin with – something I never really thought about until this moment.

Traditional magnolias have a heavenly scent. One that reminds me of the plumeria blossoms of the tropics. Hmm, now I’ve spent the last 15 minutes thinking of Hawaii, writing nothing, and wondering now, where I was going with that train of thought? LOL, look a bunny!

Anyway… even though the weather forecast is calling for more snow for the next few days – a slight chance – maybe, just maybe, spring will take hold and warmer weather will be on its way.

Day 85 Dropped In To Say Hello

Via Flickr:
While taking a photo of the blossoms on the apple tree, this little bee dropped out of the tree onto my arm. I didn’t panic as I’ve wanted to get a closer look at one of these. I don’t think that it’s a traditional honey bee, but I could be wrong. I’ve seen a lot of them on blossoms around town.

I snapped the photo and waited for a moment to see if he would fly away. He (or she?) walked around briefly before I gently blew on him to get to him to move on. It was one of those simple moments of delight.

This was the best grouping of blossoms that I found on the apple tree. Most of the blossoms were brown around the edges. This poor little tree has had to have seen better days because it’s all deformed and misshapen, now.

I’m not sure what type of apple tree it is, but the little green apples always come out kind of knotty and small. We never eat them, though the birds and squirrels love them.

Day 68 Weeping Golden Bell

Day 68 Weeping Golden Bell by pixygiggles
Day 68 Weeping Golden Bell, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I decided to go out and play in the rain for a few minutes today. Luckily, it was a nice warm rain, nothing better! The blossoming trees and bushes are in full bloom. I love this time of year. Compositions with yellow flowers can be very difficult to capture, so I took advantage of the rainy day to go out and take a few photos of the forsythia bushes. I was very happy to capture the water droplets on the petals. This was exactly what I was going for. I’m also very pleased to have finally captured a photo of a yellow flower that does not look like a glaring blob. Lighting truly does make all the difference in the world when it comes to the color yellow. Nudging the exposure compensation down -0.7 step helped some, too, I think.

Spring Fever

Spring is my favorite time of year. Everything in the natural world comes back to life, joyously announcing its rebirth through bright colors, fragrant scents, and the cheerful chirping of birds and singing frogs that welcome an end to cold weather. Spring brings with it a hope for the future that inspires us to remember that nothing lasts forever: not the cold weather, not the dark days, not even our own pain and suffering. Spring is, indeed, a special time of year. Take the time to appreciate the beauty around you. Take the time to stop and smell the blossoms. Take the time to sit and listen to the sounds that welcome spring. You may just find that these pauses in your day are enough to recharge your batteries and bring you that extra boost in energy you need.

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want —oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!

—Mark Twain

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Putting in the Seed
by Robert Frost

You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree.
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;)
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,
Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.