Of course. I love my peonies. I’m probably boring everyone with photos of peonies, but every year they fill the air with the most wondrous fragrance and the blooms grow more abundantly each season. I love the ethereal look of them, the way the ants industriously get them to bloom, the delicate, soft feel, the way they sit in a container so prettily… Okay, enough already, right?
I can’t help it. I love my peonies. And I guess they’re not really mine. They’re nature’s peonies, but they happen to reside in my garden.
I know the song is Rainy Days and Mondays, but it happened to be a rainy Friday when these pictures were taken. I walked around in a rain that had turned to mist, noting how green the plants have all become, how lush the ferns, how the droplets clung to the surfaces, especially the hosta’s broad leaves. The shade garden looks a bit like a secret world calling to me.
and just in time for summer. Right now, the temperature is nearing eighty degrees and some heavy storms are due to come in from the southwest. Spring in the Northeast, however, (or at least my portion of the Northeast) has been a bit sporadic and slow in coming, with a hard freeze less than two weeks ago. Yes, in May. In the past two weeks, though, the trees have really begun filling in and this past week my flowers are showing their promise.
Some of you might recognize that line as coming from Lorelai Gilmore’s mouth in the much loved (or hated–it was one of those shows that pushed a person one way or the other–I don’t know anyone who watched it and came out of the experience middle-of-the-road) Gilmore Girls. Me? I’m one of the former. I was thrilled when the series was revisited by Netflix in the four part mini-series with so many of the original cast members. It took a little getting used to the rapid-fire dialogue again, but I fell right back into the pattern in short order.
But I digress (as usual).
This blog is only to share some photos of the snow I took this morning. Last snowfall was a fizzle here, went from snow to ice to rain to ice to snow… We ended up with an inch or so of slush that froze over and made for dangerous walking. For many on the East Coast, though, and in the South and elsewhere in the country, that recent snow was hazardous, causing stranded motorists, power outages, and worse, so I’m not making light of it. I’m only saying I had hoped we’d have a little more than we ended up with, because I do so like snow under most circumstances.
Today’s snow isn’t supposed to add up to much either, and started with some rain and ice, but it looked quite pretty for a while so I stepped outside my door and grabbed a few photos during the best of it. My favorite is the one that serves as a header to this blog.
Well, sort of, anyway. The past few years, I have found driving in the snow a bit annoying, especially when the weather is unexpected, the roads aren’t cleared, cars are in places they have no business being, and a one to one-and-a-quarter hour commute from work to home can take upwards of four.
But I absolutely love the stark crystalline beauty of snow. Which I guess is the yin and yang in me. After all, how can I feel that way, when I am also so enamored of flowers in riotous bloom, the gentle new green of Spring, the flaming colors of Autumn? I suppose it’s Nature that I love, in all its glory, even at its most overwhelming.
On my way home from the post office/bank/grocery store early this frigid Saturday morning, I was complaining aloud about how cold I was as I clung to the steering wheel that somehow, impossibly, still felt like an ice cube in my hands despite the heat blasting so hard my eyeballs were turning to sawdust. I was grumbling and sour and using, as usual, language I would certainly avoid in company other than my own.
And then, I actually looked out of the car window.
And stopped, right there in the middle of the deserted, snow-covered road.
And got out, despite the temperature that had not yet topped ten degrees.
Because what I saw was beautiful.
Crossing the road on cold-numbed feet, I took the photo above with my phone, of the Hosensack Creek as it passes beneath the bridge on Schultz Bridge Road. (At least I believe it is the Hosensack at that point, and not one of the other numerous watercourses in this area–if anyone knows for certain otherwise, please enlighten me.) I stood there a while longer in contemplation of the grandeur Nature provides us. Though chilled, I no longer cared quite so much because, like the Grinch, my complaining, whining little heart grew ten times larger in those few moments.
So I went home, stuck my tingling toes into a pair of actual snow boots, slipped on my ear muffs, and went for a walk. In my own yard, but a walk through the snow nevertheless. The below photos are of the Hosensack Creek as it runs though my property (and yes, I am at least positive it’s the Hosensack here).
I also took a photo of the little stream that runs perpendicular to the creek. As I stood beside it listening to the flowing water making its way through the ice, I realized it sounded like an enormous, clogged toilet constantly giving way. Not very romantic, but true. The sound made me laugh out loud before I headed back inside to warm up by the fireplace, realizing how very fortunate I am to have this world to live in.
A short ride from my home (or an ambitious walk) is a view across the valley to the hills. In this photo the hills are blue with distance, although on sunny days one might find them green with the trees that clothe them. A short downpour had just ended as I arrived and I happily climbed from my car to photograph the scene. What I like most about this photo is the water droplets still clinging to the vegetation.
Rain makes changes to the environment, both subtle and extreme. In this photo, which I took following a brief but heavy downpour, one can still see the raindrops clinging to the hardy Queen Anne’s Lace with the rain clouds visible in the background. The earth looked refreshed and rejuvenated by the rainfall, and totally inviting. I could have remained there looking out over the valley for hours.
As stated in my prior brief blog (Roadside Ferns – the photograph of which is above and will be used as the feature image for the Lehigh County blog), I am sharing the beauty and history of Lehigh and areas nearby. This photo is among my favorites, and was taken some years back right on my very own property. Over time, nature’s cantankerous weather has changed the path of this creek which has been listed as one of the top ten pristine waterways in the county. Though the creek and the woods bordering it are still lovely, when I look at this photo I realize I will never see this scene as it is depicted here again. I’m glad I had the camera in my hand that day.
This very primal scene of stark contrast depicts barren winter trees reflected in the pool created in Hosensack Creek by the land’s curve around a fallen ash tree. This photograph illustrates the wild beauty that can still be found.
I have decided to add to my regular blogging with an active photographic journal of my little section of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. I want to share the beauty and history of this place where I have been fortunate enough to reside for almost twenty years. I will even venture a little beyond Lehigh’s boundaries (photographically, I mean) to nearby areas where other scenes as picturesque and interesting can be found. However, I am starting with this photograph aptly titled “Roadside Ferns”.
A walk down a local road provided this photographic opportunity, proving that beauty can be found nearly everywhere you look. These graceful fronds caught the sun in such a way as to display color from emerald green to the deepest hunter. Looking at this image, one might never guess that I was crouching on blacktop and a mailbox stood only feet away awaiting rural delivery.
As anyone who has read prior entries in my blog will know, I’m crazy about peonies. They’re long gone as of the date of this entry, but I can’t help sharing how much their scent, their soft loveliness brings my spirits up and lets me know that spring has, indeed sprung. They don’t even seem to give a darn about my careless neglect–they keep coming back in full blown drifts of fragrance and color. It will soon be time to trim the plants back, down to the ground, but I know they will return next year, making me smile yet again and filling my house with their lovely perfume.