Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Abundance of Blossoms

Today's walk takes me through streets dampened by rain in the night. Grass grows visibly these days, reaching up, up, up to the light. All is emerald and lime and parsley-colored.

   My route lies along wooded pathways, peppered now with clumps of bluebells. They grow, too, in my garden and I pick a handful for my kitchen windowsill where the scent of sweetness and spring wafts gently as I finish the dishes.

White stars have fallen to earth, it seems, in the form of fawn lilies. They grow 12 inches, perhaps, above the ground, faces downward.

I crouch low to look the lily in the face and am rewarded by brightness and intricate design, along with damp knees. 

Returning once more to Lily Avenue, I discover the naturalized lawn covered with shooting stars. Johnson's Shooting Stars. Paler pink than other years, poised to dive downwards into the leggy grass.

Pink magnolias sit like cups on branches. Tightly closed tiny daisies, white petals tinged with pink and sunny yellow centers. Ruffles of pink cherry blossoms dance like bridesmaids. Hyacinths and tulips and daffodils. The world is bursting with color and life and an abundance of flowers. Soon the lilacs will bloom. A parade of purple, blue, white, pink and green and fragrance. Spring's assault on the senses. 

Perhaps ee cummings says it best, 
"i thank You, God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky: and for everything
which is infinite which is yes." 

I'll be taking a little break for the next few days. I wish you all a most blessed and happy Easter. May you know the joy and hope of resurrection life. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Notes from my Garden

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I had a plan for this month's Note Card Party, but then in church on Sunday, an image was shown on the screen and all my plans flew away. This one took a little preparation and good weather. I taught yesterday, so I prepared last night and hoped for a sunny morning. Wind flapped against the house most of the night and I wondered if Plan A would have to be resurrected in the likelihood of rain. How happy I was to see the sun this morning!

Easter greetings in English and French. These were fun to do. The preparation involved writing the cards.

And a box top so you know what you're getting! I'm looking forward to visiting at Vee's Party this afternoon - you're welcome to join in. Vee's new rules allow for new photos, not just ones previous published. This is a good thing, I think.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tulips in the Sun

Oh my! What a gorgeous, sunny weekend we've had. Much too nice to stay indoors. We shoveled and dug and weeded. Pulled and transplanted. Mowed and trimmed. And at the end of the day - we ached with the good kind of ache that lets you lie in bed and drift off to sleep.

The water on the tulips came from a hose, not from the sky. The bottom photo of the middle column is of a tulip centre, as is the one on the right. They are from the same sort of tulip bulb, but look at the difference. One creamy monotone, the other high contrast. Fascinating.

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary of the Little Red House. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Closer Look

Donna's Photo Challenge this month was all about macro. These are some of my favorite shots to take, especially of flowers. This month I challenged myself a little by putting my Nikon Coolpix P7100 on Manual mode and adjusting the settings myself. It's still not fully manual, but more than I usually use.
 I also challenged myself to go beyond my usual subject of flowers and looked for things around the house. A close up of this old button card from my button box shows irregularities and wear and tear. Character, if you will.

 A feather picked up from the ground. Such amazing symmetry.

A ball of yarn. The focus here is to the left of centre so that the outer edges of the ball are blurred. I was happy to see an accidental bit of bokeh show up in the photo.

All photos were lightly edited in Picasa with some intensification of shadow and highlights, and cropping to (almost) square size.

I'll be foregoing my Five on Friday post this week. Check out the other participants of the Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons

Lemon trees grew on our property in Ecuador. We harvested them year round, for lemon trees can have blossoms, baby fruit and mature fruit all at the same time. During some seasons more lemons grew than at others. We loved having fresh lemons all the time (and avocados, too.) Sometimes lemons would fall to the ground and get chewed up in the lawnmower. What a lovely scent filled the air.

A couple of years ago we discovered a fruit grower who grew lemons here in Canada. Tim thought it would be a wonderful thing to have our own lemon tree. We chose a south-facing spot against a short stone wall. Tim built a wooden shelter - just a wall, really, to protect the lemon tree from the cold wind. Last spring we planted the tree, watered, fertilized it and watched the bees buzzing around the blossoms. Tiny green lemons formed. Would they have the chance to ripen before the cold? No. But our fruit grower expert told us that we would be picking lemons in April. Really?

Tim draped the tree with an old string of outdoor Christmas lights wired to a thermostat. We covered the tree with two layers of an agricultural fabric in September. Many mornings I looked out the kitchen window to see a colorful glow coming from the wrapped lemon tree. The lights come on when the temperature hits freezing and their heat protects the tree. 

Last week Tim removed one layer of fabric. Yesterday I was in the yard and noticed a tear in the remaining layer. I peeked in then went for my camera.

Lemons! All the cosseting resulted in lots of lemons. This sneak peek was all I could get through the little tear. I'm dreaming of fresh lemonade, lemon meringue pie, guacamole, lemon bars and more. Tim thinks we should have a big celebration or at least a little ceremony. I think a lemon-themed party might be fun.

What do you like to make with lemons? 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

On Absent Mindedness and Waiting

Doesn't it seem like we've waited a long time for this particular spring? It does to me, and I live in the most mild climate in Canada. I'm just so glad to see these brighter days. I love going out into my garden to see what new thing is blooming, growing, bursting with life. 

Pink cherry blossoms are flying like stars about the town just now. But these blossoms, white, not pink, are something special. They're blooming in our yard with the hope of fruit. Cherries, if we can get them before the birds do. We planted fruit trees last year and picked all the blossoms off so as to give the trees a chance to grow before fruiting. This year, we're hoping for fruit.

Mesclun lettuce growing in the garden bed. We won't be waiting very long before harvesting some of this. 

I read somewhere today of someone who went to the post office with a chocolate bar in one hand and a letter to mail in the other. She mistakenly mailed the chocolate bar. It reminded me of an event several years ago.

A bad cold had me in its grip. I don't take any medications beyond ibuprofen for I'm highly sensitive. Cold medications never. But this particular cold was terrible. In desperation I took one third of a tablet designed to ease the congestion. I had several errands to run that day and came home feeling dragged out only to discover that the letter I had mailed that day was still sitting on my desk. The envelope I slipped into the mail slot was empty. Then the library called to tell me that I had returned a DVD that belonged to the video rental store.

Later that afternoon, I picked up the remote to change the channel on the television. I clicked and clicked and nothing worked. One of my children, I don't remember which, looked at me strangely and said, "Mom, you're holding the telephone." 

And that's why I don't do "drugs." 

Have you ever done something absentminded, either under the influence or not? 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

An Urban Walk over the Gorge Waterway

Our city has many trails that meander through urban neighborhoods and along the water, skirting industrial areas and opening into small parks. Bikers, runners and walkers use these trails for pleasure and for commuting. This trail is one that my husband used to ride on his bike when he worked downtown. The waterway pictured above is the Gorge - part of an inlet that winds into the land, crossed now by way of an old railway trestle.

Red-flowering currant bushes are in bloom, bright pink to attract hummingbirds. We didn't see any of the small birds today, though.

On our return I notice a lamppost, graceful and curving. I am reminded of Narnia.
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary of the Little Red House.