Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Promise of Spring

All winter long, I've felt as if we've hovered somewhere between November and March, with none of those really seasonal months in between. It's not been terribly cold. Promises of significant snowfalls turn into dustings, and melt away before another day passes. The words "wind chill" have hardly factored into our temperatures at all.

For the early part of the winter, it seemed like November just lingered on. And now that the days are growing longer and sunnier, and birds are beginning to sing their mating songs, it seems like we've skipped right over winter and into an early spring. At least, so far.

I'm not complaining. Not one bit. True, the snowy photo opportunities were almost non-existent. True, the joy of seeing the last of an accumulation melt away hasn't happened. True, there's been limited snowballs to toss around for our over-energetic Benny. But also true is that I've enjoyed this winter that never was. And it might not be over, anyway. March may still turn out to be something we've not bargained for.

It won't be too much longer no matter what happens from here on in. And I'm enjoying the promise of spring. I hope you'll enjoy the late February sunshine along with me.


handrail
Late afternoon is the best time of day for sun kissed images at this time of year. Come on down the steps with me and we'll head out into the park.





roots
These exposed tree roots are probably anxious for a snowier winter next year. They look rather thirsty.





haunted face
Sunlight and shadows create various faces on this beautiful cedar trunk. I can see a sad, feminine face over to the left, looking to the right. Does it speak to you?




milkweedseedpod
Milkweed pods are clever. They open at all different times of the year from late summer until well into the winter, ensuring that some of their seeds are ripe for rooting whenever the need arises.




sunkissed trees
Tree lovers share a kiss in the late day sunlight.




seed pod in February
Another holdout - the bare bones of this seed pod and its fine tendrils which once held ivy-like leaves.




branch
New buds are evident on this branch which still clings to last year's leaves.

It shouldn't be long at all now. Hopefully.

50 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

We actually had snow here in Portland today. Very strange.

Frank Baron said...

Ah, cedars and willows...the stories they could tell. Maybe even of a winter weirder than this one.... :)

Linda said...

Oh, the last image is wonderful, with the light on the branch, against the background of black and blue.

I don't ever remember a winter quite like this one. I was prepared for a very bad one, considering the weather extremes that have been happening everywhere. I hadn't anticipated that the extreme we were in for would be on the mild side.

ADRIAN said...

Wonderful light. The Milkweed is beautiful.

roobo69 said...

How is it possible that winter hardly showed her face? It'll be interesting to see what the consequences are in the rest of the year... (And here we've been experiencing cyclonic weather like seldom before). Beautiful sun-kissed pics.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Going for a walk with you is sure to yield beautiful scenes. Once again I have been thrilled to be at your side as we walk through the snowless woods. Thanks and have a blessed Sunday.

CiCi said...

Still so many people do not believe the earth is experiencing climate change. Same here with a fraction of the winter always known in this area. We will probably have more snow in March. I like your photos of nature's hope, buds and roots and signs of what will grow.

Brian Miller said...

nice...the exposed roots are really cool...i love teh soft light of the sun and how it makes shadows play...

JillsyGirl Studio said...

here in the south we barely saw a winter and nature is moving right along as though it's quite pleased with passing it by this year.

messymimi said...

Beautiful.

Seasons seem to go in cycles, too. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in her Little House series, talked about the Big Winter of 1888. That winter, the town almost starved because there were so many blizzards supply trains couldn't get through. The next year, they prepared for another hard winter and had not a single blizzard -- until April!

It may be that this was your easy winter after last year's hard one.

Leah J. Utas said...

Wonderful job. Love the tree roots.

Kat said...

Beautiful. I love the shadows.

I love that we've skipped over winter this year. LOVE. I will welcome spring and summer gladly. Can't wait to see your beautiful spring pictures! :)

TexWisGirl said...

it has been a very non-existent winter for so much of north america. wonder what that'll do for crops, trees, growth...

Maggie May said...

I like that unusual one with the roots showing but feel that all bark & tree pictures make good photos.
It really has been a strange winter here but I'm not complaining because we didn't have ice & snow.
Today is warm & springlike. Brilliant.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

ellen abbott said...

We had almostnowonter as well. Early spring too but it's not really springing or bursting, just sort of moseying in.

Anvilcloud said...

In Eastern Ontario, once the snow falls, it stays -- no matter how warm or how much rain. We don't always get a lot of snow, but it persists. And we just experienced a new dumping.

laveta'splace said...

Enjoyed your walk this morning. I especially liked the milkweed pods.

rosaria said...

Your blog-friend from Portland reports snow! How strange this winter was. We've had many days of sunshine and very little rain or windy storms.
We'll all be talking about the winter that bypassed us.

Red said...

At this time of year we get anxious. Will we make it without the big blizzard? Will the winter just drift into spring. You've made me think about it.

Bob Bushell said...

A beautiful photos, and the trees, are they a bit little parched.

Barb said...

Those seed pods are wonderful! Your light is changing, and I do think spring is going to show itself to you early.

Out on the prairie said...

i always enjoy the milkweeds late in the year

yaya said...

We had snow this weekend but it has melted with the sun today. High 50's this week will make the buds really pop but I'm still holding my breath through the month of March. I'm not complaining about our winter either and Feb...the shortest month...can sometimes be the worst for weather, but not so this year. So thanks for the lovely pics of a hopeful Spring almost here.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Exquisite macros today, Hilary!
We had a bit of snow over the weekend here, but it seems to fall when the thermometer reads just above freezing, and nothing stays around for long.

The robins have returned to our neck of the woods, so I guess winter is over.

Dianne said...

Hope has been asking where the snow is, her Dad said he'd take her sledding
now he's telling her they'll go to the water park soon

you do for nature what fashion photogs do for supermodels :)

tattytiara said...

Oh Hilary I love the light you've captured in these shots - especially the one with the roots - and the colors of that last photo are so saturating - like paint straight out of the tube. Gorgeous. And yes, I see the lady, and not to queer the romance of the apparition, but I actually got kind of a Groucho Marx vibe off of her!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

on this side of Lake Ontario, I am super glad its been mild indeed :)

Shammickite said...

Spring? Hmmm... it may feel like it's on the way, but I bet we'll have a huge dumping of snow before the winter is out. I know it's up there, hiding in the clouds, just waiting for the right opportunity to mess up everyone's commute! I quite enjoy a good snowstorm. I have been talking about making a snowman with the grandies, but so far there just hasn't been enough snow!

Sharon Wagner said...

Hearing the birds tweeting has been a joy. And luckily there is more to come.

Sandi McBride said...

Us too, Hilary...and I am complaining! No snow, only enough cold to zap my fruit trees then back in the 60's...I am beginning to hate Mother Nature...shhh, you didn't hear me say that! Lovely shots as always!
hugs
Sandi

Travis Erwin said...

We might hit 80 late this week so it is coming soon.

Reena Walkling said...

I'm with you ... looking forward to spring. Something about the longer days and the angle of the sun begins to lift my spirits!

Ruby said...

Another set of beautiful pictures. I like the last one!

Daryl Edelstein said...

Spring needs to hurry because your landscape while lovingly photographed looks like it could use a shot of green ....

Laura said...

gorgeous Hilary...thank you for taking us on a walk with you.

Shrinky said...

Only last week, I said much the same to Al - it seems (crossmyfingersknockonwood) winter has passed us by this year. I HATE being cold, and confess I'm thrilled not having to worry about black ice on the roads. Yes, your lovely photographs are full of promise that spring is just around the corner (smile)..

Barbara said...

We have the same thing here... new buds popping out beside old leaves that never dropped. I love the embracing trees and I still have milk pod envy!

lime said...

it has indeed been a weird winter. the tree lovers are my favorite. reminds me of one of my favorite myths, baucis and philemon.

Rita said...

You must go deep in the woods to find these beauties in southern Ontario; I am so jealous and impressed.
Rita

Jayne said...

Sun-kissed, indeed! Oh, to walk with Hilary...
New Hampshire has snow! :D

Jenn Jilks said...

I have changed all my blogs, you are so right about word verification. What a pain!
Your photos are amazing. Very thoughtfully and beautifully constructed.
Your header remains my fave, though!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

SandyCarlson said...

I love the way you capture light.

Anonymous said...

You know your blog sucks when a thousand people thatbare PUNKING you get it..and you're getting it back in our movie..." KK"...but suffice for you to know this:
SUMMER is FUCKED along with UTAH and UNITED NATIONS with that IRA- PLO- POPPINDA.
And it's not just ROBERT GATES.
Nor is it just TILLMANN.
It's the fact that DODONGO went KSDON- KZ-14!
And that was a CASA DONASA DE VENCEDORAS with SUMAR SUMANDO !
And that means ZOODUCE got the OBBLEEZZ WODEN BLUES.
MITT dies too.
GE- GESSIS..." The Works".

Michael Manning said...

I totally agree, Hilary. In fact, this summer is not one I am anticipating with much excitement. I am enjoying these last days of February, which have been quite mild out here in the desert! :)

Hilary said...

Thanks everyone for your always-kind comments.

I see Blogger is at it again, and has removed the "follow up on comments by email" option in the popup (non-embedded) format blogs. And comment previews now get squished over to the side and read in short lines composed of one or two words. Sigh, Blogger.. why couldn't you leave well enough alone?

Anyway, enough griping. It's a free service after all. Thank you so much for your warm words, everyone. You're so appreciated. :)

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful pictures, the milkweed pictures are outstanding.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

the milkweed is gorgeous!

fantastic shots, hilary!
thanks for the inspiration!!
xo

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

...and the last image is simply magical!

Zuzana said...

Beautiful imagery dear friend, I love the okra in the photos, yet there is golden softness in it signifying longer daylight.
Our winter has been elusive too, we had a very mild January and February brought some very, very cold days when an Arctic cold front swept over Europe. Luckily, the snow has been pretty much absent, only a light cover to brighten our days.;) And now it seems that spring is on its way as we broke all time records in warm temperatures for the end of February.;)
xoxo

Susan in the Boonies said...

I love the light and shadow play of the first and third photographs, especially!