Springtime Close-Ups

Maybe it was due to global warming, or maybe Nature was just feeling antsy. Whatever the reason, spring arrived way earlier than usual this year in my neck of the woods, aka southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Man, I saw a few trees in flower on the 22nd of March, for crying out loud. That’s at least three weeks sooner than tree-blossoming normally begins. And maples and other big boys of the non-flowering kind unfurled their greenery far ahead of schedule too.

I ain’t complaining, though. A lover of colorful spectacles, I rate the springtime performances of flora quite high on my entertainment list (though not at the lofty level occupied by autumn’s leaves-changing-color extravaganza). Thus, you’ll find me taking a number of walks each spring in which my focus is to admire colors that were unavailable during winter. I spent an hour recently in my suburban neighborhood doing exactly that. My trusty and trusted smart phone was in hand, its camera poised for action. The plan was to use the camera strictly for close-ups. Not of my face, of course, as any images of that rutted, crusty object would have shattered the f*cking camera lens. But of flowering trees and bushes? You bet! Close-ups eliminate surrounding distractions. They get straight to the heart. A close-ups day it would be.

Japanese cherry tree
Japanese andromeda

The conditions for the walk were ideal — sunny, cool and breezy. So breezy, in fact, that I had to hold on tightly to my baseball cap a few times, lest it blow off the previously mentioned rutted, crusty object. I strolled from block to block to block, getting up close and personal with cherry trees, azalea and lilac bushes, and other examples of Nature’s wonders. That didn’t happen as often as I’d have liked, however, since many lovely creations were in the middle or rears of people’s lawns. You better believe I wasn’t about to step onto those lawns, not being in the mood to have homeowners yell at me from their front doors or, worse, come dashing out of their homes to confront me. Sadly but truly, you never know what might happen these days. We sure as shit live in uncertain times.

Dogwood tree
Azalea bush

Nonetheless, the walk was a damn fine one. I felt relaxed and at peace, my head pretty much devoid of thoughts. All of which took me by surprise, as I am, for the most part, a natural-born worrier and overthinker, and good and tight in the shoulders too. Calmly on the lookout for pretty colors, I somehow had entered a near-zen state. That’s part of the magic that a Nature walk sometimes imparts to me. I could go for that degree of mental and emotional clarity and ease all the time. It’s the way to be, of that there is no doubt.

Azalea bush
Lilac bush

I haven’t inhaled spring’s charms and soothing hues all that much since the walk I describe took place. I plan to pick up the pace soon, though, because before you know it all of the flowering trees and shrubs in my area will have dropped their blossoms. I find it a shame that spring’s delicacy and soothingness don’t last for at least several weeks more than they do. If I were in charge of Nature, they would. Hell, let’s take this a few steps further: If I were in charge of Nature, violence and disease would not exist. Living things would not feed upon other living things. The world, in other words, would be a gentle and wonderful place, one in which all organisms, including humans, of course, would spend their days in fulfilling and pain-free manners.

A boy can dream, right?

156 thoughts on “Springtime Close-Ups

  1. D. Wallace Peach May 7, 2023 / 12:50 pm

    I’m glad spring came early for you, Neil. Your photos are fabulous and I’m a little jealous of those petal-laden trees! Here, spring is long overdue, though I noticed this morning that the leaves are starting to pop. Finally. And I’m thankful no one shot you while you were taking photos on your walk, which seems to be the way things are heading these days. I love your dream of a beautiful peaceful planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 7, 2023 / 3:52 pm

      Gun violence in the USA is out of control. It’s a sad, horrific state of affairs. The good ol’ Republicans, though, are unwilling to take major steps, let alone minor steps, to reign in the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach May 7, 2023 / 5:15 pm

        I thought Sandyhook would have been enough. Now, people get shot for pulling into the wrong diveway. Or going jogging. You’re right to be careful about stepping on someone’s lawn to take photos of their flowers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. alisendopf May 7, 2023 / 3:15 pm

    Sigh…. So beautiful. Enjoy your spring. I’m just getting rid of the snow pile on my front lawn. The first sounds of leaf blowers are out tackling a long winter’s worth of gravel, throwing up dust. I look forward to some lilacs, but that won’t be until late May or early June.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 7, 2023 / 4:56 pm

      My area used to get lots of snow commonly. This past winter we had none at all. Things have become pretty unpredictable and erratic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • alisendopf May 25, 2023 / 2:12 pm

        Oh yes. Unpredictable is the key word there. Weather will never be the same again. I guess you’ll have to travel to get a hit of the white stuff 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. alhenry May 7, 2023 / 6:19 pm

    “I felt relaxed and at peace, my head pretty much devoid of thoughts. All of which took me by surprise, as I am, for the most part, a natural-born worrier and overthinker…”

    OMG, we are twins. Overthinking…my brain never shuts off (although, weirdly, I sleep very well). Anyway, the azaleas get my vote hands down–the vivid passion of their color.

    Very surprised to hear your Spring came early. March was icy and snowy and freezing up here. In fact, I would say Spring just arrived yesterday (May 6)–in terms of not needing a winter coat for any part of the day.

    Take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 7, 2023 / 8:41 pm

      Amy, you’re right about that bright azalea whose photo I took. It’s amazing. Not only in color, but in size. You can’t tell from the photo, but the plant is huge. I don’t recall seeing huge azaleas when I was young. But they are pretty common around here. Maybe some people feed their azaleas with steroids.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelley@QuaintRevival.com May 8, 2023 / 6:45 am

    So your state is the state that stole our spring and delayed it until now. Our winter, it seemed, had an added month to it! 🤣 I so enjoyed seeing all the stunning colors you shared. I could almost smell the lilacs! Ah…thanks, Neal, it was a joy to view and read. Happy Spring to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fictionophile May 8, 2023 / 7:46 am

    You are way ahead of us Neil. We have had some nice weather here but the season has only barely started. I wish I could smell those lilacs through my tablet. 😘🪻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 8, 2023 / 11:42 am

      Hi. I guess you’re several hundred miles farther north than I am. Which accounts for the difference in when spring sets in.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda Pearce Griffin May 8, 2023 / 4:52 pm

    Your pictures are, indeed, very Zen. Thank you for sharing.
    I join you in wishing for our world to be in a better state of mind. It is exactly why I meditate. I’m hoping some of that peace will flow out into the Universe. We could use some Nirvana.
    Namaste ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 8, 2023 / 8:26 pm

      Many moons ago I meditated twice a day. I’d be doing myself a favor if I took up the practice again. I could use some de-stressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous May 9, 2023 / 7:48 am

        I think you would also be doing the world a favor. Studies have shown there are ripple effects. I’m choosing to believe that is true. Otherwise the only other thing I can do is vote!
        I hope to see you on the cushion, my friend. ~ Namaste 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  7. juliefj1 May 8, 2023 / 11:32 pm

    Those are beautiful colours! And so relaxing. I could almost feel my shoulders lowering as I looked at your photos. We have some green grass here and many trees are in bud. The prairie crocus is out. The rest will hopefully bloom in a week or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 9, 2023 / 7:44 am

      Hi. I took a walk in my neighborhood yesterday and was surprised to see that the blossoms were gone from just about all the flowering trees. The azaleas were looking good though. Enjoy the day. See ya!


  8. J P May 9, 2023 / 6:25 am

    I enjoy these little freeze-frames that let me enjoy the blossoms a few weeks later.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rkrontheroad May 10, 2023 / 12:19 pm

    Your last paragraph was touching… I would vote for you in charge of nature. In the meantime, it’s finally warming up in the mountains here, but I go down to Denver to visit actual blossoms. Enjoyed your display.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2023 / 4:45 pm

      Hi Ruth, and thanks. Speaking of Denver, do you follow the Denver Nuggets? I’ve seen bits and pieces of a few of their recent playoff games.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rkrontheroad May 10, 2023 / 6:29 pm

        I’m not a sports fan, but the Nuggets, Broncos and Avalanche are big, big, big in Denver.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Pam Lazos May 10, 2023 / 1:06 pm

    I love this time of year. My azaleas and bleeding hearts, woodland poppies, tulips, all out in full, magnificent force, although now they are starting to drop their flowers and the rhodies are taking over. It’s one of my goals to have a garden that has something flowering all spring/summer/fall, Neil. haven’t made it there quite yet, but I’m getting closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Helene Brennan May 11, 2023 / 4:53 pm

    I love your dream! I enjoyed your photos too, Neil and for sure those lovely blossoms disappear way too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lori Pohlman May 13, 2023 / 11:01 am

    Those are gorgeous flowers! We don’t have any of that in my town, and I really miss it. Here it is mostly sage, and sparse pine. You live in a beautiful area!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 13, 2023 / 1:26 pm

      Hi. Tho blossoms on trees and bushes around here are something else. But the don’t stick around as long as I’d like them to!


  13. stargazer May 21, 2023 / 1:05 pm

    Lovely spring photos! Spring has arrived late, where I live, but it’s finally here. Love all the colours, not to mention the warmer temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Americaoncoffee May 24, 2023 / 4:10 am

    You are in the right mode of season Neil. I love your blooms!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 24, 2023 / 7:21 am

      Hi AOC. Many trees and bushes have dropped their blossoms by now. But rhododendron bushes are in flower and looking good!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Americaoncoffee May 24, 2023 / 12:59 pm

        Awesome! ☕️☕️

        Liked by 1 person

  15. ellie894 May 26, 2023 / 9:08 pm

    I’ve never seen a Japanese cherry tree. They look like they would be stunning!! Beautiful spring walk!

    Liked by 1 person

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