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. gabychops May 2, 2023 / 2:56 am

    Thank you, Neil, for your breathtaking pictures of beautiful flowers!
    Your observation about global warming is spot on as here, in the UK,
    it is much warmer than usual and many plants are flowering. When
    I open my front door the scent of flowers in the warm air is strong and brings many happy bumblebees to dine.
    But soon it will be summer and living be easy…


    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 2, 2023 / 8:47 am

      Hi Joanna. I remember the photo of your house that you once posted. You have lots and lots of flowers on your grounds.


      • gabychops May 2, 2023 / 8:52 am

        Thank you, Neil, I planted trees and flowers to have a connection with nature and eliminate pollution, and I did this in my garden.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. lookingforthehigherself May 2, 2023 / 3:22 am

    simply the best time
    of every year- so much beauty awakens in this time period and the Japanese cherry tree and azaleas are heaven to look at… makes sense how so many cultures marks April as the start of their calendar 🌺

    Liked by 2 people

  3. joylennick May 2, 2023 / 3:23 am

    An old girl too…Such gorgeous S`pring blossom for us to enjoy. Thanks Neil! Fortunately, here in Spain, we also get the long-flowering Bougainvillea on miles of motorways nd gardens in cerise/scarlet and mauve shades, some of which edges our modest patio, and the flowering Orleanda (?) is not to be sniffed at either. MN can be so kind, at times! Long last the Spring! x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lynette d'Arty-Cross May 2, 2023 / 3:26 am

    You have great dreams and your spring photo collection is lovely! It seems that spring has arrived early in many places, including here in the subarctic. We had 20°C (68F) yesterday; very unusual. 10C is more normal for this time of year, given how far north we are. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. brilliantviewpoint May 2, 2023 / 6:07 am

    Fabulous flower. Spring is such a wonderful time. You are right, it’s come early. At the same time, our weather is still strange in Chicago… warm, hot, cold, now rainy. LOL. It’s as if the weather doesn’t know WHAT it wants to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. swabby429 May 2, 2023 / 6:09 am

    I love the shapes and colors! I’m especially keen on azaleas and lilacs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rivertoprambles May 2, 2023 / 7:30 am

    Those floral colors: tenuous, temporary, ever-changing, beautiful. Lilacs blooming three weeks ahead of bloom time in western New York. Quite nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Martie May 2, 2023 / 8:01 am

    Beautiful. Also this past winter was mild in Jersey. What about by you?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joyce Hamilton May 2, 2023 / 8:51 am

    Always love your Spring photos. Is that my azalea bush? I have so many on front lawn and driveway. I always enjoy looking at them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Deb May 2, 2023 / 9:01 am

    Beautiful Neil! And thanks for coming clean about spring- you were the spring hoarder which I assume was why ours here has barely started 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. marthadilo3 May 2, 2023 / 9:18 am

    The azaleas are beautiful! You are a little ahead of us up by Lake Erie. Ours are just starting to open, but it’s usually a little cooler closer to the lake. I love spring too, and wish it was longer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 2, 2023 / 10:30 am

      You know, azaleas have become some of my very favorite plants. I appreciate them more than I used to.


  12. Ann Coleman May 2, 2023 / 10:01 am

    Gorgeous photos!! And I not only agree with your dreams (may they come true), but I would add one: no one would be allergic to pollen!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Anika May 2, 2023 / 10:38 am

    Very beautiful, makes me want to go out and enjoy the flowers of spring 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacqui Murray May 2, 2023 / 10:50 am

    What a great description of the healing effects of walking–not just physiologically but distracting us from our thoughts. Though your perfect walk–“The conditions for the walk were ideal — sunny, cool and breezy”–not sure if that would work for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sam Gridley May 2, 2023 / 11:11 am

    Man, azaleas are almost too much, so intense. I prefer lilacs, and in my neighborhood, besides the regular ones, we have several Japanese tree lilacs, which have delicate sprays of white flowers.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Paula B May 2, 2023 / 11:14 am

    “that rutted, crusty object” — ha ha! What a hilarious description of your face! (and it might describe mine as well) A great juxtaposition with the lovely and peaceful photos you’ve shown us.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Robert Parker May 2, 2023 / 12:32 pm

    It’s an amazing time of year and you got some great close-ups of the flower show. Glad it had the healing effect for you, it puts me in a great mood too. If you decide to run for Tsar of Nature or Emperor of The Flowering Shrubbery, please let me know I’ll send you a write-in vote.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter May 2, 2023 / 1:15 pm

    A truly beautiful post. Our blossom is already dropping. It’s at the stage where it looks like a pink snowfall which is pretty – not so much when it turns brown and sticky.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Rosaliene Bacchus May 2, 2023 / 1:23 pm

    WOW. Nature is definitely putting on quite a show in your neck of the woods! Love the close-ups 🙂 Nature walks are great for calming our overthinking minds. Dream on, my friend! I’m right there beside you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. JT Twissel May 2, 2023 / 2:08 pm

    Spring is definitely a time to reflect on how much beauty and life is around if we just focused on enjoying it and not giving in to fear and loathing.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Paddy Tobin May 2, 2023 / 2:56 pm

    Ah, Neil, it is so good to have the soft and gentle side of your nature revealed! But, wait, aren’t you soft and gentle on all sides! Yes, you are! I’m with you all the way in enjoying nature and simply gazing and taking it in with relaxed pleasure. There are some garden visits I have experienced where I was completely taken by the atmosphere, totally enthralled by the surroundings and it is a wonderful feeling – just as you have experienced in your neighbourhood walk. I am off to visit the garden of a very famous musician tomorrow!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Paddy Tobin May 2, 2023 / 6:02 pm

        I can’t find a way to send a private message to you. The person in question is a member of a band which has enjoyed international success and he values his privacy so there will be no photography nor blog posts afterwards!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. talebender May 2, 2023 / 2:59 pm

    “… all organisms, including humans, of course, would spend their days in fulfilling and pain-free manners. A boy can dream, right?”
    You do more than dream, though…..you get out and celebrate the fulfilling pleasures we do get offered.
    Enjoyed the pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Cindy May 2, 2023 / 4:31 pm

    I love those April colors! You might feel rutted and crusty, but when you’re outside in the Pennsylvania spring, you’re in the pink!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Misti May 2, 2023 / 5:15 pm

    What a gorgeous spring you had! And I like your writing at the end—I’d be ok with just existing but not needing food or having illness…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 2, 2023 / 7:12 pm

      Hey there. If I were in charge, animals would need nothing more than air to sustain themselves physically.


  25. thelongview May 2, 2023 / 7:37 pm

    A visual treat, Neil – thanks for the lovely pics! I like your vision for Nature too and would vote for you to be put in charge!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Life...One Big Adventure May 2, 2023 / 8:23 pm

    I’m lovin’ your Spring colours as much as the oranges, reds and yellows outside my office window. Every season is gorgeous, isn’t it? Mel

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 2, 2023 / 10:38 pm

      Hi Mel. My favorite season is autumn, which is happening in your part of the globe right now. I can’t get enough of leaves changing their colors.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. johnlmalone May 3, 2023 / 7:18 am

    you got good dreams, Neil and it’s admirable that you enter near zen-states during your walks; and above it all, even over the extravaganzas of colour, beams your self-deprecating humor 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. shoreacres May 3, 2023 / 7:39 am

    We have glorious wildflowers, and some areas have those same in-your-face azaleas, but your flowering trees are really something. I envy your lilacs, too. I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to find a soap or cologne that truly reproduces that glorious scent, but there’s not a manufacturer yet that’s managed to do it. Nature’s the master; how wonderful that you’re in a place where you can enjoy the scents as well as the colors.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Dave May 3, 2023 / 8:15 am

    We have two azalea bushes and the colors are stunning… for about a ten-day stretch. Then everything drops and the party’s over. But at least they seem to serve a moment’s purpose, as if to to announce, “Hey y’all, Spring’s a-coming!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 3, 2023 / 11:00 am

      It seems that some azaleas stay in flower for longer than others. A neighbor near me has huge, huge azaleas. Their flowers are on display each year for a bunch of weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Alyson May 4, 2023 / 3:01 am

    Great pictures. My Japanese cherry has not been as “blossomy” this year for some reason – depends on the weather conditions I think. Azalea about to bloom though and looking forward to that.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. andrewcferguson May 4, 2023 / 3:22 am

    Fantastic! A mood-enhancing piece for sure. The cherry trees on the main road nearest our street are just stunning right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 4, 2023 / 7:18 am

      Are magnolia trees popular in your city and general area? There are plenty where I live. They’ve already dropped their flowers.

      Liked by 2 people

  32. eden baylee May 4, 2023 / 2:12 pm

    Yes, you can dream Neil… and mine are not much different. To want the best for all humankind is pretty selfless. Too bad not everyone feels this way.

    The pics are gorgeous and vibrant, and I agree spring is much too short. Magnolias and lilacs are two of my favourites!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 4, 2023 / 4:32 pm

      Hey, Eden. I’m not good at identifying plants. But I’ve learned to identify the saucer magnolia. Its flowers have large, thick petals. When in flower, it’s a great-looking tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Jan Milusich May 4, 2023 / 3:47 pm

    Sounds like you had a lovely peaceful walk, and I wish you many more this Spring season.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Fran Johns May 4, 2023 / 7:22 pm

    Much as I love my adopted city of San Francisco, I do miss the Virginia springtime. Yours ain’t at all bad, either; I could smell those lilacs. Also, when you consider the votes you have in advance from these comments maybe you should consider a run. I like your platform. (VP, maybe?)

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Anonymous May 5, 2023 / 9:50 am

    Such lovely photos . . . and, yes, wouldn’t it be grand if . . . ? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Kim Smith May 5, 2023 / 11:53 am

    I share your dream, Neil. Lovely pictures too. I will say though, that the ephemerality of spring blossoms on trees and flowers is part of the reason we treasure them so much. Same for autumn leaves. If they were here longer we’d take them for granted and they wouldn’t have the same impact. But it sure is hard to see them fading away already!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. waywardsparkles May 5, 2023 / 3:02 pm

    Gorgeous photos! Spring is my favorite season. I lost out on most of the new blooms around here because of cataracts. Now that I can see again, most of the blooms are long gone around here. So your pics were much appreciated! At present, it’s 89 degrees and humid. Ugh. Reminds me that summer and 100+ temps are around the corner. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 5, 2023 / 3:55 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for adding your thoughts. Yeah, I’m not a fan at all of high temps either. Anything above 85 or so degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t please me.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. kegarland May 5, 2023 / 5:22 pm

    Maybe you should be in charge, Neil 😉

    These are beautiful photos ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  39. estricsek May 6, 2023 / 10:22 pm

    Well written and beautiful photos Neil! Spring arrived early on Cape Cod as well. We have mowed the lawn 5 times already. Japanese Cherry trees are in full bloom. I hope the rhododendron are full of flowers this year. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 7, 2023 / 7:17 am

      Hi Ernie. Man, you’ve already done a lot of mowing. It’s amazing how fast grass can grow. Have a good day. See ya!


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