The progression of spring: April 12th

I went a little crazy with my camera today. Flowers galore and so much color everywhere! The dogwoods are blooming, and most trees are becoming green now. A few trees are showing autumn colors before their chlorophyll kicks in.

It’s also my daughter’s 22nd birthday today. Okay, I know that’s off topic, but I had to say it. 🙂
I remember her psychiatrists and counselors used to say she would be lucky to make it to age 19. Well, she’s still here!

Enjoy this week’s photos. You can click them on to see more detail.

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spring_412_11 spring_412_12

Previous posts in this series:
1. Winter into Spring: March 8th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/08/winter-into-spring/
The Progression of Spring:
2. March 15th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/15/the-progression-of-spring-march-15th/
3. March 22nd: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/22/the-progression-of-spring-march-22/
4. March 29th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/30/the-progression-of-spring-march-29/
5. April 5th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/05/progression-of-spring-april-5th/

The progression of spring: April 5th

Now it’s REALLY starting to look like spring, as these photos show. Even so, the temps got slightly below freezing last night and I had to bring my plants inside. This early, snow is still possible, but not probable, at least not this far south. Many of the ornamental trees that were flowering last week are now bright pale green. The larger trees are just starting to bud, and some are still bare, especially at higher elevations. Living in the mountains, it’s fun to watch Spring progress up the mountainsides. By the end of this month, there should be no more winter-bare trees.

I feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country so close to nature.

Enjoy this week’s photos.

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Previous articles in this series:
1. Winter Into Spring: March 8th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/08/winter-into-spring/
2. The Progression of Spring: March 15: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/15/the-progression-of-spring-march-15th/
3. The Progression of Spring: March 22: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/22/the-progression-of-spring-march-22/
4. The Progression of Spring: March 29: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/30/the-progression-of-spring-march-29/

The progression of Spring: March 29

This week many of the smaller ornamental trees began to bloom. The white “snowball” trees with their bright white blossoms by today were already dropping their petals and giving way to the pale bright green underneath. The cherry blossoms are in full flower and those too are giving way to green leaves. Most of the larger trees are still bare though and only showing hints of color. Those will probably start blooming next month. The grass in my yard could definitely use a mow. It’s getting pretty tall!

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Here’s the same scene from earlier weeks, taken in my neighborhood:
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See also:
1. Winter Into Spring: March 8th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/08/winter-into-spring/
2. The Progression of Spring: March 15: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/15/the-progression-of-spring-march-15th/
3. The Progression of Spring: March 22: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/22/the-progression-of-spring-march-22/

The progression of Spring: March 22

Last Sunday I decided to make this a weekly series until it looks like summer again. This is the third post in this series, and this is the week that all of nature seems to be going crazy! There are so many birds chirping and calling I feel like I live in a jungle. Unfortunately, the photos can’t capture the aural delights, only the flowers and trees.

As with the first two posts, these photos were taken around my neighborhood about an hour ago. A week ago none of these trees were flowering yet, although they definitely looked about to.

The weather’s a little on the cool side and somewhat overcast, so not a great day to sit outside but I’ve heard cloudy weather is the best for taking photos because of there is less contrast or chance for overexposure.

Enjoy!

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Here are my two previous posts:

March 8th: Winter Into Spring: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/08/winter-into-spring/
March 15th: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/15/the-progression-of-spring-march-15th/

Things sure have changed in two weeks. 🙂

March madness.

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March is a weird month.
Yesterday was sunny, extremely windy, and in the low 70s.
On Sunday, temps climbed into the low 80s.
Today was like late November, cold and rainy, temps in the low 40s.
This weekend is supposed to be pretty, but then they are talking about SNOW after that.
Tornado season starts about now, too. Fortunately i don’t live in a Tornado Alley state.

Welcome, Spring!

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The progression of spring: March 15th

I love watching everything come back to life starting around this time of year. I’ve never appreciated these changes so much until this year, however.

Because last Sunday (March 8th) I decided to post a few photos of some trees in my neighborhood that were starting to show the “fall” colors of early spring in their buds and branches before the chlorophyll kicks in (see my post “Winter Into Spring”), I decided to make “The Progression of Spring” a regular weekly feature until things look like summer again, probably around the end of May.

The first photo shows the exact same location as last week but there are a few changes: the grass is a LOT greener than last week (this happened almost overnight), and the trees look fuller and a few are beginning to bloom. The second photo was taken right by my house.

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Both these photos make it hard to believe it’s technically still winter.

Winter into Spring

I love very late winter, because it’s when suddenly nature returns from the dead and gloom of that season. Even though the trees are still pretty bare and it’s still pretty cold, the lengthening and slightly warmer days have cause the buds to begin to open, showing their true (fall) colors before the chlorophyll starts kicking in.

I snapped these photos this morning in my neighborhood, after church. If you look closely, some of the trees have a yellowish tint and others, a reddish one. It really doesn’t look much like winter anymore. Birds were chirping everywhere and I heard children playing outdoors in the distance.

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Experiencing this simple moment was the perfect gift just after having attended mass during the third week of Lent. Late winter/spring and the Easter season is all about resurrection and rebirth.

I decided to post the Youtube link to George Winston’s piano music, “Winter into Spring” here. It’s the whole album. Listen to it while sitting outside or appreciating the rapid changes nature is undergoing even if only from your window. No matter how poor, sick or beaten down by life we are, we are all blessed to have these gifts that cost nothing.

It’s March!

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By the end of this month, some places will look like this.

I cannot believe we’re already into the third month of 2015. Where did the winter go? It can’t go away too fast for me!

March is a special month. Once it arrives, I start to realize the season of darkness, ice, cold, flu, and high heating bills is finally in its death throes. Sure, March is still cold in most of the non-tropical northern hemisphere. There can still be snowstorms and some of the worst blizzards in history have happened in March. It’s not quite time to put away the winter coats and gloves and take off the snow tires yet.

But in March, the snow that falls tends to melt faster, the days are getting noticeably longer (don’t forget to set your clocks AHEAD next Sunday!), and by mid-month, at least in my part of the country, the weather gets a bit warmer too.

The first thunderstorms of the year arrive, and people living in Tornado Alley must be wary of severe weather again. I happen to love big storms and like to sit outside on my covered porch and watch them roll in.

On some days and nights, you may even be able to keep the heat turned off, which lowers your heating bill.

In many southern and mid-Atlantic states, some trees begin to show a hazy pale greenish tint by the end of the month. Other trees take on a diluted version of the same colors you see on them in the fall, before their chlorophyll kicks in. (Has anyone ever noticed this? I never did until a few years ago). The forsythias and first crocuses and other early-spring flowers begin to bloom. You may see a robin or two in your backyard. Although most trees are still bare, many are sporting fat buds on their branches.

March is the month the intrepid (some might say insane) hikers who decide to take on all 2,168 miles of the Appalachian trail begin their trek in Georgia (and won’t complete their journey until late August or September, when they arrive in Maine just as it starts to turn colder). Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is actually on my Bucket List of things to do before I die. I’m crazy enough to do it if I can ever afford to take off the six months it requires to just drop out of modernity and normal life (which would not be a problem for me at all!)

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Very early spring along the Appalachian Trail.

If you live in a rural area you start to notice fields being tilled in preparation for sowing the year’s crops.

Easter stuff is being sold everywhere. Hell, it’s been out there in the stores since February 15th! Garden centers start stocking up again.

By the end of this month, if it gets at all warm, I will probably need to uncover the lawnmower and push that creaky old rusted machine through the grass for the first time this year.

I love this time of year, because of the way it represents the promise of new life and another cycle of nature at its very beginning. The world is like a person stirring in light sleep just before waking up to start a new day.

In just three weeks, it will be officially Spring, even if we still need to keep our coats and sweaters handy for a few more weeks.

I think March is underrated. Everyone gets so excited about the coming of Fall, but as beautiful as that time of year is, I have always found it a bit depressing. Everything is dying and the days are getting colder and shorter. This time of year, while the weather is still not ideal and there’s no big holiday season to look forward to (outside of Easter), the mood of lengthening days and stronger and warmer sunlight nurtures my spirit.

If you love spring, you will love this book I read several years ago called “Chasing Spring: An American Journey through a Changing Season,” which describes a road trip that follows the progress of the season starting in the deep South as early as late February and progressing northward until the middle of June, when spring weather finally arrives in northern Canada.

Spring is coming.

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It’s time for a little positivity. Something happy and inoffensive and unserious.

I love spring. It’s my favorite season. Not too hot, not too cold, and everything’s coming alive again after the long dreary winter and the world is suddenly full of color. The days are becoming long again and we can go outside without coats, gloves and hats. Spring works wonders on my mood. I’m usually in fairly high spirits, as much as someone with PTSD and prone to depression can be.

Fall is pretty but I don’t like it much because everything’s dying and the days are growing shorter. Although the foliage is pretty it only lasts a couple of weeks and then everything’s all downhill after that. I also start stressing about the upcoming holiday season.

I hate winter with all my being. As a sufferer of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) I find the short days, gloom, and darkness tend to exacerbate my depressions or even cause them. All I want to do is sleep the winter away. I wish I could hibernate. I also hate being cold. I don’t even like snow.

Summer is alright, but it’s too hot and humid here in the southeast and because I have cats that go in and out, every year I do battle with fleas. (why do they exist? what is their purpose in the world anyway?)

Spring may get tornadoes and violent thunderstorms but they don’t affect this part of the country too much and I can enjoy a good thunderstorm. Other than that, it’s the perfect time of year for me.

On that note, I’d like to share these photos I found. In just over two months, spring will be with us again!

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Sickie

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My face is melting and my throat is full of sand. My eyes are gross and gummy. My hair is lank and greasy and my nose is raw as sushi. I’m hacking up unspeakable things.

Oh, wait, I feel a sneeze coming on. Ahhhhh—

Dammit! It’s one of those infuriating swallowed sneezes, you know, when you feel like you have to sneeze but it doesn’t come–or maybe your nose just emits a mouselike squeak . Non-sneezes must be one of God’s little practical jokes.

So, what was I talking about?

Oh, right. My danged cold.

I still had to work today (otherwise I lose my Christmas holiday pay) but I felt like I was dragging around a 100 pound weight as I moved around today, sniffling and sneezing and spewing my germs everywhere like Typhoid Mary. I took Dayquil to cope with the symptoms, but still felt horrible, and sleepy on the way home in the car from the medicine. (By the way, Dayquil will make you groggy, so drive with caution if you must).

I drank about a gallon of orange juice and popped vitamin C like a crackhead pops rocks, but all it does is make my bladder work overtime making bright orange urine, which I guess is the point since all that peeing is supposed to rid your body of the illness. Eventually. I’ve been eating so much canned chicken noodle soup I think I might lay an egg if I eat too much more.

In the meantime I have no choice but to power through this. Thankfully, day after tomorrow I’ll have a nice 4 day long weekend to relax and get better. I’ll be cooking my incredible (yes, I don’t mind saying so) spinach and meat lasagna at Paul’s house and my daughter will be home. I’ll also be baking a red velvet cake (with buttercream icing, not cream cheese, which I hate).
All my Christmas shopping is finally done and I’m anticipating a small but lovely Christmas dinner. I’ll still be glad when all this holiday business is over for another year.

As I sit here sipping my peppermint tea with honey, I’m dreaming of spring.

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Once the stores start putting up the Valentines day merchandise (which happens the minute Christmas is over), I start to see spring on the horizon. Here in North Carolina (with the exception of last year, which was exceptionally cold for this part of the country), by the end of February it starts to warm up a bit and even a few of the trees begin to take on a pale green tinge. (Has anyone ever noticed, even before the green begins to show, in the very early spring the trees have a diluted form of the same colors they do in the fall?)

The days are already getting longer by one minute a day. By the end of January, it will be noticeable. Ah, spring. I can’t wait for you. I love you. I wish I could hibernate until then.

I hate everything about winter. The dark. The cold. The gloominess. The damned SNOW. But most of all I hate colds and flu. It’s getting late. Guess it’s time to take some Nyquil and rest my body for one more day of work until the long weekend.

But before I do that, I think I’ll take another eucalyptus bath and light my Silver Birch Yankee candle.