Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The sweetness of a soft spring...

…there has been a softness to spring this year along the Little Miami River in the form of shadows, raindrops and diffused light. Spring has trod lightly, sympathetic and undemanding of the sun and its meager attempts to break through heavy dark clouds. Cloaked in mist and raindrops, Spring’s sweetness has flowed in blooms glowing in the half-light, delivering a saturated color achievable only without the glare of a strengthening sun…

Wild geraniums (Geranium maculatum) bloom in the hollows of a rain-soaked hillside along the Little Miami River.

Ten anthers dotted with bright yellow pollen...

...sleepy, droopy Wild Geranium buds waiting to be coaxed awake.

...a Geranium maculatum blossom shows as soft and misty as the overcast day.

...the saturated color of an unfurled blossom is hard to pass by.

With nonstop chatter and buzzing, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are one of the first spring migrants to arrive on the scene along the Little Miami River, blending into the remnants of winter with their blue-gray feathers and tiny, round bodies, but by mid May they can sometimes seem out of style. Their soft blue-gray color is easily overshadowed by the riot of spring as we search out the reds, oranges, yellows and vibrant blues of later-arriving neotropicals, but this spring…the gnatcatchers continue to hold their own…sweet and soft in the continuous gloom…

...a male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher perches lightly surrounded by the lush green of spring.

...a month or so earlier he was still surrounded by winter's gray...

...standing bright in the gloom of a rainy afternoon...

Polioptila caerulea commands a soft spring along the Little Miami...

…and although there’s a soft, lovely romance in a rainy spring…and walking the woods while tiny raindrops drum out an old, soothing rhythm on the umbrella is nice, I’m still ready for some SUN!!

p.s. Rick just read this post and said I'm trying to sugarcoat the sogginess of the situation...(and he might be right! It's raining and 49 degrees...where's the sun?).

28 comments:

texwisgirl said...

oh those are beautiful. the tight bud in that one shot is great, and then the gnatcatcher stole the show... :)

Birding is Fun! said...

Lovely photos - both flowers and birds!

Roy said...

Beautiful little flowers and great photographs.

forgetmenot said...

Such magnificent photos--such a pleasure to stop by your post and see what spectacular pics you have posted for the day. Love the scarlet tanager in the previous post too. What brilliant color! Mickie :)

Michael Bartneck said...

A softness?? I'd call it a "Dampness" lol..but yeah an artist like you would call it "Softness" ;)I think 99% of my flower shots from the past month and a half have water drops on them...excellent shots Kelly!

holdingmoments said...

Superb captures Kelly.

Tammie Lee said...

pisces always see the beauty, soggy or not... ;-}
and beauty you have captured! your intimate flower portraits and little birds are wonderful

Montanagirl said...

Lovely post, Kelly. Your photos are wonderful, and the narrative so well written. We have 52 degrees and rain here today.

Janice K said...

I love the wild geraniums...They are blooming here too now. I like the way rays of sunlight can reflect through their petals.

I wish your little gnatcatcher would stop by my house. I don't think I've ever seen him before. I like the "soft" look of your pictures.

Lasse said...

Beautiful pictures ! Lovely!!

Carol Mattingly said...

You did put it on pretty thick but that's ok because we all get nostalgic on these posts. I think it was beautiful and I think the p.s. was funny. Lovely images Kelly. Carol

Grizz………… said...

Magnificent shots! Especially of the color-saturated wild geraniums. They're blooming here, too—at least they were last week, before the latest rounds of cold monsoons set in. Frankly, I'm with Rick on this one…it's soggy, chilly, muddy, and a an all-around uncomfortable mess outside. I'm ready for sun and heat and spring. (Geeze, it hasn't gotten UP to 49 degrees here yet.)

Elaine said...

Your wild geranium shots are supurb! Yes, Rick is right, you are trying to sugarcoat the sogginess! A few days of rain are fine, but then you want sunshine! We haven't had the rain here, but typically it is very dry with lots of dried vegetation making fire danger high. The moisture from all the snow has soaked well into the ground and so we could use a little of that rain you are having. Our spring has been a little reluctant, just hitting the 60 degree mark on Friday, but today is warmer and predictions for sun and 70s the rest of the week. The leaves are ready to pop out and lots of new things poking their heads through the ground.

Roy said...

Gorgeous shots of the Gnatcatcher, Kelly. Good work!

Laure Ferlita said...

It's up to us to find the good...and I'd say you're doing a marvelous job! Great shots of the flowers and the bird.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

such beauty captured with your camera and I've never heard of the gnat-catcher, another beautiful little bird. How lucky to have it still for a second, long enough to get those shots to share.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Beautiful post title, beautiful photos. I like your positive attitude in the face of a rainy spring. I should follow your example--my attitude towards our blazing hot spring has been very poor. I should appreciate our abundance of sunshine!!

Wanda..... said...

You may be guilty of sugar coating, Kelly...but the dark wetness of the trees trunks and the bright green of the leaves do stand out on days like this. The wild geraniums are beautiful.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Ha Ha ---sound like what a man would say!!!!! Yes--it's been soggy and wet and COLD.. BUT--we females can find something GOOD about it to photograph, can't we???? Love your SWEET pictures of a SOFT spring.... The colors are some of my fav's...

Hugs,
Betsy

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Stunning blossom images! And what a sweet blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Lynette said...

I can't pick. it's too difficult. Both series are such grand photos. Wow!

Bill S. said...

Wonderful pictures. Isn't spring fun. I love the close-ups of the flower. We call them sticky geraniums here. Great post.

Out on the prairie said...

I have the geraniums all around my yard, they must reseed a lot. Love the gnatcatcher, they have a silly smirk to them.Got to see a few tanagers after reading your post.

Appalachian Lady said...

I love these photos--really highlight the beauty of the wild geraniums. And, I am amazed you were able to get photos of the blue-gray gnatcatcher. I have been trying for years They just move too fast. Maybe I should appreciate the wet spring better but I'm looking for more sun.

freebird said...

These are really nice pictures. So green and fresh and that little bird is adorable. I had a bird splashing in my birdbath today after we had a little bit of rain. It was so unusual a sight I ran for my camera but he saw me and flew away. A brown bird in a brown birdbath isn't nearly as pretty as your pictures here though.

Hilke Breder said...

Glorious purple, Kelly - my eyes can't get enough of it! And I love your little gnatcatcher! Terrific post!

Kelly said...

thanks everyone for the kind words! ...is the end to this cold, rainy weather near? It was rainy again today, but warmer this evening and no rain. I'm ready for sun!

Tim Rucci said...

What stunning captures, Kelly! I love the bursts of color in your macro shots. Fantastic stuff! Simply a joy to view.

It's been a while since I've been here and it's a long story that I won't go into now. Hopefully I can continue to stop by check in on your photos...