Spring Break


Here in the good old USA, numerous folk are “enjoying” the style of winter that is often considered the exclusive domain of International Falls, Minnesota and their robust Canadian friends further north.  Temperatures are brutally cold, well south of freezing, accompanied by ye olde insidious wind chill and ample amounts of that white stuff that wanted to be rain before Mr. Freeze squeezed its little liquid heart. While the Canucks and Minnesotans may shrug it off, for those less accustomed to this winter thuggery I offer a Spring Break – a reminder of things to come.

It was a grey spring morning in Portland, the air filled with a barely there misty version of Oregon rain. Falling at the end of May, spring flowers had the time to burst out in their fullness, and the roses of summer had begun to bloom. Foxglove’s trumpets blared out their siren call, “look at me, look at me!”

(Click on pictures for larger version)


My wife and I had a short errand that morning, close enough to be walking distance through the neighborhood.  While wandering along, we saw delicate dewy drops decorating the plant life – I knew I had to make a second outing dedicated to capturing it, camera in hand.


The first roses of the season were showing their intricate curls and swirls, natures engineering masterpiece unfolding in front of us. Tiny droplets provided magnifying glasses, blending light to show shades of bright colors.


The lesser flowers too had their day, inviting us for a closer visit, or as they might say, “dew drop in.”


In the season’s abundance, a Japanese Lace Leaf Maple wrestled with the ferns for space. We, the onlookers enjoying the colors and patterns were the winners.


A daylily gave its own impression of the sun rising through the darkness, making a colorful day of a green night.


The shimmer of wet rocks begs the question: why does the moisture make a flat shine on rocks and bead up on the flowers?  It’s a mistery.


A solution: perhaps the inhabitant of this tiny house provides the artistry, coming out in the soft rains and morning dew to build tiny goblets of water, held together by surface tension and the magic of life.


Even my front door rosebush, once encased in ice, gets in on the act.  No doubt it is scheming on converting that liquid gold into its delicate perfume.


A tower of lupine stands guard over its leaves; they in turn brew the drinks.


What do you call a herd of flowers?  A “bunch” of Yellow Loosestrife seems a tad mundane and unimaginative considering the visual effect.

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But what’s this? A rose, encased in ice, frozen in time? Grist for Beauty and the Beast?

No, just me taking artistic license.  It was originally a pale pink, with leaves of green.  This poses a question: should I take artistic license more often, or continue to simply enhance what is there?


And as the day wore on, the morning mists departed and the dewy jewels providing flowery tiaras evaporated away in the warmth of the afternoon.

So too, for those of you who are confusing your fingers with icicles; a time of warming is nigh.  Winter will ease its icy grip, and you’ll be able to enjoy your own Spring Break.

44 thoughts on “Spring Break

  1. This really was a wonderful break, and so well-timed, I cannot tell you! thanks Dave!
    And just excellent photos. Everything fresh and beautiful. I am there. In a comfortable lawn chair, with a glass of ice tea.
    And water, in a form that’s not our sworn enemy. Refreshing.
    I’m a huge fan of tall flowers, like foxgloves and lupins, they don’t always survive the harsh weather where I’m from.
    It’s interesting, the different schools of thought on processing or manipulating photos – – to each their own! I’ve seen such great photography on WP. People take pride in showing a photo, exactly as it came out of the camera, and others, equally valid, discuss using sixteen “photoshop” products I’ve never even heard of. I’m just enjoying it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been saving this batch for just such a time. Hopefully, folks take it the right way, as something to look forward to, like your lawn chair and beverage (I shan’t mention that i word…)
      I’m surprised Lupin don’t do well in your home digs, as I’ve found them in alpine settings. For example, a smaller variety are common on Mt. Rainier, where they’re buried under snow for months.
      I shot film for 30 years, I figure I’ve paid my dues for straight out of camera. I like the amount of control that digital editing gives, it blows anything I did in a B/W darkroom out of the water. But still, it seems like some get a tad carried away.
      There is that boundary for “fine art” photography, where there’s no pretense of reality. Some of it I like. I’m just not sure of dipping my toes in those waters, it’d be quite the departure. On the other hand, stretching boundaries is how growth happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos, Dave. Nature is its own work of art, but capturing it and even enhancing it both pay it a compliment! I love the shiny rocks photo. My guess on your question there is that rocks and stone are too dense to allow dew to form; maybe the thinness or flatness of flowers and blades of grass keeps temperatures more conducive to water beading??? (I’m no scientist!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I were to truly speculate, I’d say that the leaves and flowers that have beading are smoother, or have tighter pores or a waxy surface that repels water, whereas the rocks have a rougher texture and/or are more porous. Much like the difference between a freshly waxed car and one that needs a wax job.

      But it’s more fun to think that a colony of gnomes living in cute little houses come out in the fine mists to capture flagons of water, held together with surface tension and magic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. These shots were from last spring, at the end of May. About the only thing that “blooms” here this time of year is puddles of water, and possibly moss. I’m looking forward to spring almost as much as the folks back east.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. +1 for the “mistery” pun. +10 for the Foxglove photo.

    We’ve had an unseasonably mild winter here in Austria (and Romania). No jackets required. Guess we’re getting our Spring Break early. But I enjoyed your preview of new life to come nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Dave. Pinterest is going great, but is mostly on auto-pilot while we were traveling. I’ve been sneaking on to read ya’lls blogs in the wee hours, but I’m hoping to publish something in the next few days.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Deer and gardens are a regular subject of conversations around here, Dave. Along with what they do and don’t eat. One of the interesting things is that it can vary by herd.
        Urban setting do have some advantages. 🙂 –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What gorgeous photos. I particularly like the lupine. I remember well the twenty years lived in Chicago, the icy cold winters that never seemed to end, and how much I looked forward to and cherished spring time every time. Now I am in eternal tropical summer heat remembering wistfully Sring and Autumn. But I don’t miss winter cold.


    1. 20 years in Chicago, eh? I’d say you’ve paid your winter dues. I’d think you have plenty of spring-like flowers in the tropics, but maybe not so much the fall change of colors. It’s not warm here in Oregon during the winter, but it’s not the Minnesota winter cold of my youth either – I certainly don’t miss it.


    1. No, these shots were from last spring – end of May – aka “Spring Break”. The “Frozen Beauty” was me departing into artistic effects. Not my usual thing, but I like it anyway.


    1. We didn’t have it quite as bad as the east and midwest. During the cold snap our temps were in the 30’s F. Chilly, but tolerable. (Ever notice the USA doesn’t have a “mideast”?)


  5. Simply beautiful! I’m especially fond of the dark-leaves Japanese maple with the fern. And the wet rocks and succulents. Lovely, and lovingly done. What a treat, though I’m not suffering like those on the east coast are!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely needed to read a post like this! I’m waiting for spring and cherry blossoms. Your photography and picture editing skills have changed since I last visited your blog. 🙂 I love the pink rose and the red one too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s -23C (real feel) today! 😦 The second cold wave in this month. Fortunately, it’s not so windy. The difference in your photos is clearly visible. Makes me want to stop being lazy and read about photo editing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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