I Was Late For The Springtime Party

“You’re shvitzing like a pig,” my wife Sandy observed last week when I strode into the house after one of my highly infrequent walks around the neighborhood. Incredibly, I hadn’t realized how excellently the sweat was pouring off of me. Call me Mr. Observant. As I unbuttoned and took off my sopping shirt I thought to myself that I’d have inserted the word f**king before the word pig if it had been me commenting in Sandy’s place. She’s a lot more refined than I am.

The only flowering tree that I came across.
The only flowering tree that I came across.

Amazingly, the stroll around my little corner of the Philadelphia burbs was my first since last December, a nighttime excursion I undertook to gaze upon Christmas lights. I wrote a story about that adventure, and if you’re interested in reading it you should click right here. Last week’s stroll was different. With my trusty iPhone in hand I hit the streets for an hour in late morning, looking for pretty flowers to admire and photograph. Particularly those on trees and shrubbery. The sun was beating down rippingly as I left the house, the temperature already about 85° F, and the humidity was formidable. But I was late for the party. Turns out that virtually all of the flowering trees, and most of the flowering bushes, already had dropped their glitter.

Greens, man, greens.
Greens, man, greens.
Greens, man, greens.
Greens, man, greens.

What, then, did I see?  Greens, man, greens. I walked past hundreds of houses, all with nicely-trimmed lawns, and past thousands of trees, and the expanses of shades of greens made my eyes stand at attention. But I was on a quest for colors other than those, and needless to say they were there to be spotted. True, I didn’t find a single azalea still in glorious bloom. But rhododendrons, yes, and quite a few other bushes I won’t go out on a limb and try to identify, as I ain’t exactly John Bartram or John Muir. And though 99.999% of dogwoods and other flowering varieties of tall barky objects had not a remaining petal hanging on their branches, I discovered one cute tree still dressed in white.

“Yo, Nature Boy,” I heard someone shout at me two seconds ago. “What about planted flowers? Or was Nature Boy not seeking them?” Well, I’ve got an answer: I sought and I found. But something I never had realized before about my neighborhood is that there is no glut of those beauties. I saw a lot of nice ones, sure — roses and don’t ask me what else, because, as I already mentioned, I ain’t exactly . . . Yet many homes had no flowers in beds or windowboxes at all. Maybe I should report my area to The Philadelphia Horticultural Society. Or to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Yeah, that’s what I should do.

Still, my walk was a good one. As I said in my Christmas lights story, I need to get out into my neighborhood, beyond my block, more than I do. There’s plenty to look at, if you force yourself to really look, even though my suburban development, like all suburban developments, isn’t on anyone’s bucket list of places to visit. And, importantly, there’s no dog crap to step on, as the dog owners around here are well-trained in picking up after. One thing for certain is that next spring I’m going to wander a few weeks earlier in the season. The neighborhood’s flowering trees and bushes fully were ablaze from mid-April through mid-May. Regrettably, my views of them mostly were from a moving car, and that’s no way to experience the world if foot power is an option. I’ve set myself a reminder.

In conclusion, I’m going to give a big shoutout, as the half-assed expression goes, to my newest best friend: my iPhone. It took some pretty nice pictures the other day. I offer up a selection of the colorful sights. By the way, if you click on any photo, a larger image will open. And one last thing: Don’t be shy about adding your comments, or about sharing this article with others.

IMG_0377 IMG_0378


IMG_0388 IMG_0417

IMG_0395 IMG_0401

IMG_0411 IMG_0415

20 thoughts on “I Was Late For The Springtime Party

  1. Eugene Knapik May 31, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Gardens are like forests in that the more you look at them, the more detail you begin to notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce May 31, 2016 / 8:39 am

    Very nice summer blog. I am surprised you didn’t take a picture of my beautiful azaleas !

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger May 31, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      I’d have liked to do that. Unfortunately, nearly all of the petals were gone on your azaleas when I took the photos last week.
      We’ll have to wait till next year!


  3. Ken Dowell June 1, 2016 / 10:50 am

    I think this post has inspired me to step away from the computer and go cut my lawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Phil June 2, 2016 / 4:33 am

    Must admit, when I first saw your post I thought your truck had broken down…what a pleasant surprise (in more than one way) to find that wasn’t the case. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 2, 2016 / 7:37 am

      Glad you liked this article, Phil.
      I’m looking forward to reading your next story from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.


  5. Still the Lucky Few June 3, 2016 / 10:25 am

    Nice haul of blossoms, even if you were late to the party! Here, in the Canadian Pacific North West, if you miss the April/May display, you have missed the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 3, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      You know, I always find it to be pretty amazing that there are so many colors in nature.


  6. artdoesmatter June 5, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    Neil, your essay and photos are fantastic! We have really had a lush green spring season here nearby Philly, yes? While my neighbors have the flowering blooms, we decided to just keep two low-maintenance rhododendron plants – and you’re correct! They are still in bloom. Hope you and yours are having a nice spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 5, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      Hi, Patricia. Thanks for your compliments. Spring and autumn are my fave seasons. Next up: Summer’s heat, of which I’m not a big fan.


  7. Elizabeth M. Soltan June 7, 2016 / 10:33 am

    Loved this post. I sometimes wonder if planting or even just buying planters isn’t contagious. One neighbor sees how nice another’s yard/front lawn looks, then decides, “hey, why not?” I know our neighborhood “spruces” up for the Fourth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 7, 2016 / 1:51 pm

      Liz, please come over and plant some flowers for us. Our property is one of those sans flower beds and windowboxes. I’m going to file a complaint against myself with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy June 22, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Neil, if you come down and walk around Fairmount, you’ll see some gorgeous flowers in windowboxes all spring and summer long!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. S. A. Young June 28, 2016 / 7:12 am

    I also have to be reminded of the beauty my neighborhood holds this time of year. It’s time for my own walk-about!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cath May 25, 2020 / 12:41 pm

    Love the photos, Neil, especially the pink one, second down on the right, a Beauty Bush? I’m no shrub expert either.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s