Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

“Since every variety of tree and plant comes into bloom in its own time in one of the four seasons, we prize the timeliness and rarity of the blooming of each. . . . Now what we call hana or ‘flowering,’ what we call ‘interesting,’ and what we call ‘rarity’ are not three separate things but really one and the same.  But all flowers eventually are scattered, none stays in bloom.  And it is precisely because it blooms and perishes that a flower holds our interest as something rare. . . . to know the flowering is first of all to know that nothing abides.”
— Zeami, from Kadensho, translated by William LaFleur

“Death is the mother of Beauty.”
— Wallace Stevens

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Cherry blossom viewing carries with it a Japanese sensibility, the awareness of the ephemeral.  It is heartening to see such a diverse group of people enjoying the magnificent blooming cherry trees on the University of Washington campus.  These Yoshino cherry trees are a natural wonder.

The Quad at the University of Washington

The Quad at the University of Washington

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Gnarly bark

Gnarly bark

Photographing a fallen blossom

Photographing a fallen blossom

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Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

 

 

Too Much Too Fast

March 25, 2014

Forsythia branches

Forsythia branches

“March brings too much too fast.”
— Hazel Heckman, Island Year

Yes, I am finding that March is bringing too much too fast.  I am feeling behind, and as much as I’d love to sit down and paint some flowers, I can’t find the time.  Here is a small sample of what’s bursting into bloom right now.  I took all of these photos this morning in my neighborhood.

Camellias

Camellias

Daffodil

Daffodil

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Forsythia

Forsythia

Grape hyacinth

Grape hyacinth

 

Morning walk at Green Lake, with puddles

Morning walk at Green Lake, with puddles

“March is certainly a step from winter towards summer, yet its sour, blustery, fickle weather, if one looked no further, and did not consider the law, would induce the belief that the earth had taken the wrong road, and that summer did not lie in this direction.”
— John Burroughs, from The Heart of Burrough’s Journals, edited by Clara Barrus

“Well, March has gone out, as she usually does, angry and sniffy, and slammed the door behind her.”
— John Burroughs, from The Heart of Burrough’s Journals, edited by Clara Barrus

Today is the vernal equinox.  Happy first day of Spring!

Sunrise, Green Lake

Sunrise, Green Lake

Heron weather vane

Heron weather vane

 

 

“O March that blusters and March that blows,
What color under your footsteps glows
Beauty you summon from winter snows
And you are the pathway that leads to the rose.”
— Celia Thaxter, “March”

Thin ice in the meadow

March weather is fickle.  But the iron hold of winter is softening.  The melting proceeds unevenly and wonderful abstract shapes form around grasses and leaves.

Thin ice in the meadow

Abstract shapes form around the meadow grasses

The snow melts first around the a dark leaf

Interesting how the snow melts in craters around each individual stem of grass

 

 

The Color of March

March 11, 2011

“The color of March in my valley is brown.”
     — Gladys Tabor, Stillmeadow Calendar: A Countryman’s Journal

Looking for browns in the March landscape

Brown is a composite color, a mixture of orange, red, yellow, black and gray.  When I set out to photograph brown things, I was at first disheartened by the soggy, sodden, deadened browns in the landscape.  But when I looked more attentively, I started to see a rich play of colors in every brown object. 

I fell in love with brown all over again.  I’ve always loved brown eyes best. 

Browns in the gutter

Raindrops on grape trellis

Tree bark

Budding branch

Last season's hydrangea

Just look at all of the amazing colors in this rose hip.

Running Hot and Cold

March 4, 2011

Fickle March weather

Fast changing March sky

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”
     — Charles Dickens

This quote captures perfectly the capricious, inconstant, fickle, and unpredictable March weather we’ve been experiencing the past few days.