Monday, May 26, 2014

Nature Resumes Her Loveliness

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

There was a brief window of lovely spring days between winter and black fly season. Yes, they're annoying and they restrict regular activities such as the enjoyment of a walk but they are also known to be indicative of a healthy aquatic ecosystem so I'll take consolation in that.

During that bug-free time, some photos were taken of our emerging plant life and a couple of summer birds.

catkins
As soon as the grass began to grow, I started to notice the pussy willows emerging. You can see them in two different stages here - the spiky catkin and the soft fuzzy bit that most of us associate with this plant.





catkins4
Here's an up close and personal look at the former.





unidentified
On one of my walks a couple of weeks back, I saw a few of these lovely but very shy birds. This image was taken from quite a distance away and it's the best I could do. I haven't been able to identify it to my satisfaction though we're thinking it might be a flycatcher of some sort. Any help in identifying this cutie would be much appreciated. A big thank you to Jennifer Jilks for identifying this little beauty as an Eastern Phoebe which is indeed part of the flycatcher family like Frank suggested.

A couple of weeks ago, Frank's son, Francis came up for a visit with Frank's sisters Theresa and Lisa. We had a short but wonderful time together. Frank had to head back to his other place for a few days so he left early the next day with his son. Lisa and Theresa and I shared a long walk headed into the nearby town to look at antiques. It was a whirlwind visit but I enjoyed it immensely. I think they need to consider moving up here.
 

red trillium
Lisa spotted this Red Trillium on our walk. Funny thing about this flower is that it has so many names. It's also known as trillium erectum (yes, I hear all of you immature guys snickering), wake-robin, purple trillium, birth root and stinking Benjamin. I'll probably stick with red trillium. The white trillium is Ontario's provincial flower. I also snapped some photos of them in bloom but they're still in my camera as I type this.





new growth7
It's important to remember to look up occasionally. When you do, you might see some beautiful spring green.





new growth
The promise of something delicate and lovely about to bloom.





new growth 6
And here's something different which has already kept its promise.





nest building osprey
I could probably do a series of images of nearly-photographed birds, and perhaps I will, one day. You might want to consider this one as a preview. It's nearly a photograph of an Osprey which flew in over the lake with a piece of nest-building material. By the time I got her in focus, she was flying over the roof.





hyacinth
These lovely pink hyacinths are among the many spring surprises growing in our garden.





daffy and bug
Another little surprise of the insect variety. I didn't notice it until I looked at the image on my computer.





Rudy's Tree4
Here's a sweet coincidence for you. The former owner of our house, Josie told us about Rudy's tree at the time we purchased the place. One of her stipulations upon selling was that she reserved the right to uproot this tree which sits outside our kitchen window. It was planted when her beloved husband, Rudy passed away a few years back. Of course, we agreed to her request but it turned out that the tree had matured enough so that digging it out would prove difficult and expensive, and there would be no guarantee to its survival, so she opted to leave it behind. I knew that the anniversary of his passing was in late May. I wanted to take a few photos of its leaves about to unfold and send them to her so she could share them with her family so that she would know that we were honouring his memory. I took a few photos earlier in the week and processed them on Sunday. Then I proceeded to look through some paperwork left to us by Josie to see if I could find her email address. I could not. I made a mental note to stop by the next door neighbour, Jayne to see if she could provide it. Then I went to sit on the dock and read a book.





Rudy's Tree2
Not a half hour later, I heard female voices approaching. Glancing up, I see both Jayne and Josie making their way along the dock to come see me. Josie was in town visiting another neighbour and stopped by to see Jayne, and in the process, hoped find out what our addition to the place looked like. It was one of those serendipitous moments when things work out so beautifully. I had a nice visit with the ladies and showed them the changes. Josie spent a couple of quiet moments with Rudy's tree, I showed her the above two (and a few more) photos and I was able to obtain her email address. All in all an unexpected but lovely event. The rings which are tied with ribbon to one of the branches, are from Rudy and Josie's grandchildren, I believe, and they read "Memories. Peace. Family."

That's it for this post. I hope to put a few more photos together before too much longer. And start catching up on my blog visits. But it's spring and even if the mosquitoes and black flies are telling me to stay inside, other things beckon like Saturday morning yard sales and catching the breeze at the end of the dock. And Frank's boat is back in the water so fishing will be added to the agenda. In reality, I might be a bit more scarce than my norm, this summer. But I will continue to stop by from time to time and post as often as I can. I know you'll understand because you're all pretty wonderful that way.

More photos coming up soonish.

57 comments:

Cloudia said...

Your osprey taught me about framing, movement, action, and suggestion in photography!


ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^=

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful set of images, the Osprey was right on, even when you left its head, lol.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Gorgeous pics :) We lived in New Hampshire ten years and OH what a terrible moment when winter then mud season finally ended and the black flies then mosquitos arrived....

Hilary said...

I love your partial bird.......that is the reality isn't it, not always getting the perfect shot......but maybe it is, with the branch in his talons.
Sounds and looks like heaven to me.

Brian Miller said...

pretty cool on the tree...and i am glad they are leaving it and will have that place to come back to...

and i will work on snickering a little more quiet...hahaha

yaya said...

Spring has come for you! Yeah! That little builder had more important issues than posing for a pic I guess! (I like the shot!) I'm glad the previous owner could see the tree and know it's in good hands. It's fun to see what comes up in the yard and garden of a new place. Enjoy the wonderful warm season coming and that beautiful lake..bugs and all! We have the mosquitoes already out in force. The winter was harsh and killed many of my blooming plants...but not the dang bugs! Oh well!

Jinksy said...

That new bud cradling the old flower is so poignant... Could I maybe use your image to write a poem to, some time?

Anvilcloud said...

We once went to cottage country in sprig, and I have to desire to ever do it again. Your trillium looks like a genuine red as opposed to some in my post, which seem to be white trilliums that have gone a bit red. Strange that.

Stephen Hayes said...

I don't get out enough to admire the flowers and wild life and I so appreciate seeing the beauty in your photographs. Thanks for sharing.

Red said...

You have a great series of native plants in their spring activities. You have one of those stories about Josie that doesn't happen often enough.

Bossy Betty said...

Ah yes, Spring beckons, doesn't it? I love the alternatives to blogging you see and hope you get out there and get to do all of them. Love the way life works out with those coincidences!

Linda Wildenstein said...

As always I love your photographic eye and the offerings of your art....but this time I love the stories you shared as well. Your family and then the serendipitous moment with the former owner. Life is the best when it includes change encounters that bless our hearts....and yours blessed mine as well. Thanks, Oma Linda

DJan said...

As usual, I am gobsmacked by your pictures, Hilary. (Don't you just love that word?) That red trillium, and the wonderful serendipitous visit with the previous owner as well. Any time you post is a good time for me. Glad you're out enjoying yourself, even with those pesky bugs. :-)

TexWisGirl said...

oh, that tree is a wonderful remembrance. i enjoy all of your images so much.

and i'll try to be grateful for black flies. :)

messymimi said...

Go out and live life, and come share with us when you can.

Such a beautiful place where you live means you should be outdoors as much as you can.

Out on the prairie said...

Nice to see it turning around you, I thought you might be still in the cold.

Mage said...

Perhaps you can give us some pictures of black flies. Here we have blue bottle flies.

Yes,, lovely spring stuff. Thank you.

Chicken said...

I think the nearly photographed bird series is a great idea. I loved the Osprey photo here.

Lisa Gordon said...

Wonderful images, Hilary! I especially like the "looking up" photo. Such a wonderful yellow, against that beautiful blue sky!!

Liz Mays said...

That was serendipity indeed. I love that she was able to visit the tree, and I can think of nobody better than you to be the current guardian over it. Your pics are lovely as always.

Kat said...

Hooray for spring, warm weather, flowers, and nature! Weeehooo!!! We've waited a long time. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pics!

Rita said...

I hope that shy bird is a black fly catcher! Those guys can really bite, as I recall.
Lovely photos and what a perfect visit!! :) :)

Barbara Shallue said...

What a wonderful coincidence that she showed up right at that moment! I love the rings on the tree. I love your posts and visits, but you need to enjoy that piece of heaven (other than the flies) that you're living in. The flies and mosquitoes have made their appearance here, too. What do you use to repel them? I dread smelling like Off all summer.

ellen abbott said...

So, have you ever tried to graft a tree? I haven't but I believe it goes somewhat like this...select an appropriate spot, make a deep cut, pack root stimulators and peat moss and wrap it and magically, it can grow roots at which point you can cut it off and plant it and it will grow into a new tree. Wouldn't that be nice? Great photos btw. I love your macros.

Gail Dixon said...

I haven't read through the comments, but I think that first bird is a great-crested flycatcher! All of your spring images are absolutely gorgeous. Really enjoyed the story of Rudy's tree. How wonderful that you are sharing the stages of the tree through photography. I may be making myself more scarce this summer, too, so I definitely understand. Enjoy!

Sandy Carlson said...

Oh, I love that serendipitous moment. That tree is in good hands, to be sure.

I am so glad I stopped by. My blog has been hanging on by a thread, and so often that thread is my lifeline to the world of warmth and compassion.

I am grateful to you, Hilary.

Shammickite said...

I was walking with TessaDog in York Regional Forest at the weekend, and the trilliums (should that be trillii?) are everywhere, both white and the occasional red. Lovely!
Loved the story of Rudy's tree.
Glad to know you are enjoying your new home.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

As expected,a visit here is always enjoyable. Love the tree story and how it all fell into place.

christopher said...

Enjoy the season and the peace of Rudy's tree.

ladyfi said...

A lovely set of spring images! Enjoy.

Andy said...

After a long hard winter it's nice to see inspiring photos like your's of the land coming to life again.

Haddock said...

Lovely pictures.
It was very thoughtful of you to take photos of the leaves and send them to them.

Tabor said...

Ah yes, I remember spring...I think it was a couple of weeks ago...I think!

Linda said...

That is really sweet about the memory tree. I know you will take good care of it. I have special plants and bushes that remind me of my parents.

Leah J. Utas said...

Your macros give the plants such personality.

Friko said...

That’s serendipity!

Lovely photos of spring and the joys that close scrutiny can bring.

Enjoy it while it lasts and I hope the black flies don’t become too much of a pest.

Joanna Jenkins said...

So thoughtful of you to photograph the tree. I love that. And amazing that Josie stopped by! I love that too.

I can appreciate how meaningful it was to Josie to visit Ruby's tree as we are in the process of planting in memory of my mom and step-dad. There is just something about being able to pause for a moment, surrounded by beauty, that is heartwarming and comforting.

Thanks for sharing this story, Hilary. It's lovely.
xo jj

Joanna Jenkins said...

So thoughtful of you to photograph the tree. I love that. And amazing that Josie stopped by! I love that too.

I can appreciate how meaningful it was to Josie to visit Ruby's tree as we are in the process of planting in memory of my mom and step-dad. There is just something about being able to pause for a moment, surrounded by beauty, that is heartwarming and comforting.

Thanks for sharing this story, Hilary. It's lovely.
xo jj

Slamdunk said...

Even though I am immature, I'll go with Stinking Benjamin. Great how that worked out with Rudy's tree. Funny how those things happen--meant to be?

photowannabe said...

I am convinced that you do live in paradise. What a beautiful corner of the world...black flies and all....
Hilary, you excel at macro photos.
How wonderful to have the previous owners return and to be able to share in the memories. I like the rings on the tree too.
Have a great week.

Daryl said...

can you get Avon's Skin So Soft? if so use it on any part of you exposed when you go out .. and the black flies will not bother you … its a trick i was told on a visit to Vermont on wet spring … use it especially on the back of your neck under your hair .. i didnt and got a bad bite ..

all your photos are as always wonderful but i do love the partial bird …

Tammie Lee said...

lovely glimpses of spring!
sorry to hear about the black flies, it is the same here, but with mosquitoes. oye! not sure if mosquitoes are good for anything.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Wonderful photos, and an amazing story.
Your bird looks like my Phoebe.
I use SkinSoSoft, it's great - but also, baby oil. They don't like oil.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Oh, yes. A couple of us want to put together a book of bird butts!

Suldog said...

There is always something very worthwhile coming here for. Rudy's Tree this time, of course, but also the pussy willows. I had no idea (city boy that I am) that they had two phases; I thought they were always just fuzzy.

A Cuban In London said...

Your photos show nature at its purest and most beautiful. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Dianne said...

of course you would honor Rudy's tree
lovely story

all the photos are wonderful
I love the yellow in the looking up shot

been thinking about you
I must update my blog, the unpacking is taking forever and taking a toll
love ya
hugs to all -

Eddie Bluelights said...

Bet you had to move like lightening to get that shot of the Osprey.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Bet you had to move like lightening to get that shot of the Osprey.

Lynne with an e said...

I always love getting up close and personal with you...seeing your world through your eyes in all those sweet little details you so tenderly capture with your camera.

"Soonish" for more photos is always perfect timing!

Betty Manousos said...

fantastic set of photos as usual. those yellow leaves(looking up photo) against that beautiful blue sky are spectacular. great details/colour/frame.

big hugs!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You're most welcome! Our have hatched, and we await the new bug eaters to get going!!!

Scott said...

Sweet story and I loved your macros this post.

sage said...

Beautiful photos and that was thoughtful to collect photos of the tree to send to the widow who'd planted it. Spring is a lovely time of the year (although my sinus passages seem to disagree)

Sharon Wagner said...

That was a happy ending indeed. Beautiful spring photos!

Sharon Wagner said...

That was a happy ending indeed. Beautiful spring photos!

Lady Lilith said...

Nature is just full of wonderful surprises this time of year.