12 April 2011

april 12 of 12: surprise!

in my mind, april's 12 of 12 was going to be about spring delights - those things that you notice that make you really know that a new season of growth is here. but the day began with a non-spring surprise that was a shock nonetheless - and i guess that set the tone for the rest of april 12th. 

you know those unnamed soapy little plugs that gunk up the opening on liquid soap dispensers? i deal with one almost every morning and usually force it out with a few vigorous pumps. the "plugs" land anywhere and everywhere: i've found them on the wall, the door, the mirror. this morning's plug flies to some unknown spot that i don't find until i take a big gulp of coffee. still groggy, it is my first, and probably most startling, surprise of the day... 

as i walk to my car, i spot them beyond the driveway in the meadow - a clump of daffodils that i planted perhaps 20 years ago. these bulbs were one of my first plantings and i always forget that they're here, so far from all the gardens. so forgetful am i that every year, i'm surprised all over again when i first notice them. 

i round a curve on my way to work and gasp as i pass a field that i photographed a few weeks ago. today, after a day of heavy rain, it's flooded! it's so big an area, it could pass for a small lake!

before lunch i go outside, to the large area out back, where i've not been for almost two weeks. i'm surprised to see the snow is all gone, save for this small patch. snow was knee deep here just a month ago.

i walk the perimeter and am surprised to see this sight. it's a huge gaping hole at the base of a tree, big enough for a small person to climb into. how could i have not noticed this before? it makes me think this must be a new development in the life of this tree. but how did it happen? who did that?

on my way home, i pass the same flooded field and laugh out loud at what i see - two pair of canada geese, floating in the water. here's one pair, oblivious to the camera.

spring usually means high water around here, with rains and warm temperature melting snows in the hills and mountains farther north and sending it downhill through swollen rivers and streams. two weeks ago, this river was a jam of ice. now, it moves so quickly and the water level is so high, i didn't want to get too close to the edge.

home again, and the rains of yesterday have melted enough of the snow that i decide to take my first tour of the yard for the season. hyacinth is starting to bloom smack in the middle of last year's compost pile, grown from two bulbs from last easter's celebration. i always thought that spring/easter plants were forced, made to bloom before they normally would, and that they were no good after that. apparently that is not the case for this hearty hyacinth!

even thought there's still snow in the woods and the yard, daffodils along the edge are starting to poke through last year's matted leaves. i look for ferns and am surprised to find none. i need to go back in my writing to see if they bloom now or after daffodils have gone by.

look - the snow in the yard is still deep enough to leave footprints. 

on my way to a meeting, i pass this bank lit by evening sunlight. it's the first wide expanse of green i've seen this spring!

the night ends with a most disturbing surprise. made with "found" materials, this is a model of a high voltage transmission tower that may be built just down the road on our property. what's in place now (and to my mind, is pretty tall) is the smallish wooden representation on the right. and that little blue person at the tower's base represents me - feeling really surprised and very foolish that i never really understood until now how massive these towers can be. 

thanks for waiting for this. as in the past months, the hard part of this is the writing. i don't know how anyone can get this done all in the space of one day.  perhaps may will be easier...


Star said...

Thanks so much for taking us through your day. Looking forward to daffodil and hyacinth photos, as they bloom. Bye for now, Star

Anonymous said...

beautiful. you seemed so excited, i feel as if you might want to jump. spring!! spring! lovely photos.

myletterstoemily said...

ooh, so sorry about the new tower. hope it doesn't
pass the vote.

but i love all your other surprises, especially the
canadian geese.

thank you for sharing with us!

~she~ said...

So funny about the soapy coffee!

I can't believe you still have that much snow! And I thought WE had it bad!

Great pics!

Lynne said...

Oh what a wonderful post - thank you so much for sharing your day of surprises - good and not so good.

PS Don't take your coffee too close to the soap dispenser!! ;-)

Nora said...

I enjoyed these 12's of 12 very much. It's good to see the place without snow. It's pretty incredible how quickly it disappeared. I love the plants poking out of the ground. I hope you do keep a record of that and show us.

CrazyCris said...

what an interesting mix of photos! snow in one spot, clear in another... flooded fields and flowers peaking through snow... FUN!!!

Anonymous said...

loved this post chris! i don't manage to get to your blog everyday, so when i do, it's a wonderful surprise to see what has been inspiring you. ~mary d'e-b

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I NEVER post my 12 of 12 on the twelfth. I feel good if it's up within a few days, and don't even feel like it's late until about a week out. Generally I wait till the following weekend to get it done.

chris said...

thanks, SquamLoon, i feel better about may 12th already!