Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Fever

52 weeks ago!
Around here, we are discontentedly waiting for spring to truly arrive. After a long, cold winter, warm sunshine and bare toes in the grass is a welcome feeling. But we're still waiting. We've had one or two decent days, but spring is dragging its feet. It's almost May, and I'm seriously contemplating moving south again. 

Maybe it's because I'm a gardening writer and am just itching to get my hands dirty with some gardening projects. (I'm in serious plant envy of gardeners in warmer zones.) Or maybe it's because I really want to get out and take some photos of the spring-flowering trees and daffodil glades at the Morton Arboretum. But it's been too cold, too windy, too overcast. Too un-spring-like. The magnolia tree in the neighbor's yard is trying desperately to flower, but isn't quite getting the job done. Last year at this time, it looked like this: 

I finally put away the snowblower last week and got the lawnmower out -- just tempting Mother Nature to dump some more snow on Illinois. (She didn't.) This week threatens some more rain and cooler-than-normal temperatures. I'll have to settle for planning the garden plantings and dreaming of warmer spring days. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! 

Photo taken at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which I finally got to check out during my recent trip back to the Ozarks. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

thoughtful Thursday

A week of travel, a birthday and some lovely horseback a riding weather. What more can a girl ask for?

Monday, April 7, 2014

weekend explorations

I found these beauties at the Morton Arboretum over the weekend. I don't think the purple burst of color has been such a welcome sight before! It's been a long winter. So happy to see these crocuses popping up on the east side.

No visit to the Arboretum is complete without a stop at the Spruce Plot -- at least for me. This forest is my favorite place at the Arb. There's just something about it that grounds me every time I set foot on the shaded path that leads into the plot. Maybe it's because I feel sheltered and protected there, or perhaps it's because the towering trees remind me that there are larger powers at work. Whatever the reason, I try to stop by this magical place once a month. The light -- and the photos -- are different every time.

I also tried my hand at a puddlegram -- much to the amusement of some unsuspecting hiikers. For the uninitiated, a puddlegram involves capturing a reflection in, well, a puddle. Search the tag on Instagram, and you'll find hundreds, if not thousands, of fantastic images. They do require some ungraceful squatting on city sidewalks and wooded paths so you can get the angle just right (without falling OR dropping your phone!)...and people WILL look at you funny. I'm pretty sure the hikers who happened upon me trying to frame this shot thought I was doing *something else* in the woods at first. Oh well...the things we do in the name of photography!

I'm looking forward to adding more green and blooms to my photos as spring unfolds.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Sun Will Shine Again

Street art from last weekend's 8x8 Gallery photo walk
in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. 
Mother Nature teased us with a taste of spring earlier this week. It's coming. There are signs of it everywhere. 

My Oregano survived the brutal Chiberia winter!
I started prepping my garden bed Sunday, 

even though it's still pretty early here in zone 5. 
A walk through the Morton Arboretum yielded sunshine, ponds released from winter's grasp, and even a nice surprise on a path. 

I can't wait until this crabapple tree bursts with blooms!
This pond was frozen solid just a few weeks ago. 

I was really excited when I found these snowdrops
just off a path on the west side of the Morton Arboretum!