We had just a small amount of snow, but it was enough to make me go out and take pictures!
It was spectacular, and in particular, the white snow on the white blossom of the Bradford Pears was interesting to see. The poor daffodils in the front yard seem defeated by the snow, and I’m not sure if they will bounce back.
Planting has started along the Greenway next to the Loop Trolley!
Yesterday, something I read on Social Media made me remember the excitement that you can find from exploring the world via Google Maps. I’d cleaned the snow from the sidewalks and was just hanging out indoors for a while, so I decided to look at some streets in Japan. Why Japan? well, why not! I decided that Tokyo would be much like any city, so moved north along the island state to somewhere called Kaminoyama in Yamagata Prefecture. I was just “walking” the streets, and came across this random view of a suburban house and its front yard.
This yard is pretty amazing to western eyes, and yet it does not appear to be an exceptional or grand house, just someone who takes pride in their property. The placement of the stones and the way the trees have been cultivated is simple wonderful, and one can see that a pathway meanders between and around the planting. It is clearly man-made, but also brings with it a feeling of the wild and natural.
Only after looking at the picture for some minutes did I realize that the picture had captured a some people in the yard, and this close up image shows three men sitting, surrounded by construction materials. This throws the whole scene into a different perspective. Does the pile of gravel and the spade mean that the yard here has just been completed, and these men are the workers, taking a break from their labours? One of them may be pouring a drink, but why are the two workers sitting, apparently in conversation, whilst the other is at some distance, looking the other way?
I will never know just what that moment in time captured, but that glimpse into the live of real people in a far away land is itself interesting.
We are walking in Epping Forest, England, on a sunny and warm late June day, when we come to one of the many ponds that we find scattered around the countryside.
This is not a formally sculptured lake, or a cozy backyard water feature, it is as natural a piece of water as one can find.
Everything seems serene and quiet, but at the same time the trees and reeds, the grasses and lily pads call out with exuberant life.
We are at the same time at peace and full of excitement, we feel a part of the whole, as still as the water, and as full of vitality as the trees
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Hidden away in the woods, we find a small area of water, enclosed by the first flowering of spring growth in the surrounding trees.
We might have passed by, but then we notice three nymphs dancing by the pool.
As we stop to admire the art work, we are entranced by the vibrancy of the colors, the reflections in the pool, and the evidence of new life all around.
We recall the story of Hylas, charmed by the beauty of the Nymph, and never seen again, as he searched the woods for his lost love.
Beauty is all around us; sometimes it is easy to see, as in this woodland idyll. But sometimes we have to search for the beauty that we know is there, and sometimes just to search is enough.
An early morning hike in early spring takes us up the bluffs above the mighty Mississippi, and we emerge into the quiet of the early dawn.
We stop to catch our breath, and notice that we have emerged by the Interstate Bridge, now quiet in the early morning.
The trees have yet to come into leaf, and there seems to be nothing but grey and brown hues going into the far horizon; we appear to be alone in this nearly monotone landscape.
But then we spot something; there is one tiny spot of color.
There on a branch close by, watching the same view as we are, is one single cardinal bird, its bright red plumage standing out against the monotonous colors all around.
One insignificant bird, and yet it lights up the scene and makes a point of focus for us.
Today, maybe we can be a point of color in someone else’s life. Even if we feel tiny and insignificant, we can stand out in our own individual way.
The Mississippi River has many faces.
Our walk along the shoreline takes us really close to the water’s edge, and from here we can see nothing but calm water, reflecting the blue sky.
The river and the sky meet in a shoreline of sand and trees, and we are not really sure where the river is flowing, both banks seem to be the same.
As we stand and observe, we are aware of an intense peace, the only sound we hear being a slight gurgle from as the water passes over the stones at our feet.
We are warmed by the sun behind our back, and cooled by the water in front – we are at peace.