What a lovely May we had. Maybe it was just my need to get away from work; to debrief, to release the anxiety slowly eating away my insides. But no, I truly feel it was really that wonderful a spring. The girls and I found any and every excuse to get out there and enjoy it, even if it was just to the local park. The vigorous ants we discovered there a couple weeks earlier were still out in full force.
While they were a bit, well, creepy, the gardens were in full swing. Here are some highlights:
This tree made my day.
Sunshine splashing on sassy sisters succumbing to spring-fever:
Alex alleviates anxiety; allowing alluring eye-candy to absorb his affections:
Triplicating the tranquil thrill of trance-like treasures trumps the trouble of traveling to transfer tremendous trajectories for true treats. (Okay, that alliteration is a bit over the top. The English translation is just this: one can find simple treasures in everyday happenings, like these three geese drifting by.)
Ella gets my point. And finds bonus pleasure in some rock throwing.
It's just all so. . . big. You know what I mean? And big is totally awesome. This is big. All my problems are small. Commence with warm fuzzy feelings inside.
Same day, different location for reflections: Young swans spotted in a roadside culvert.
The month of May yielded plenty of eye-candy from our favorite wandering spot. (Cue the slideshow!)
The ultimate watercolor:
One of my favorite natural phenomena occurs on still days, when any body of water becomes a mirror. Behold: a cloud mirror:
Tree and cloud mirror, with bonus trumpeter swans:
Only one way to celebrate springtime's spectacular art gallery: break out the lighter fluid! It's time for the first s'mores of the year!
We hiked our beloved woods almost daily that first week in May. Here's Ella greeting some fellow wanderers we stumbled across:
Roaming off trail treated us to a pleasant find: bugs! (yes, after a cold winter we rejoice with the return of any life... even the creepy-crawly kind! Now mosquitoes... that's another story!) Spotted Lady Beatles were everywhere... on leaves:
Wandering at dusk affords another of my favorite effects: silhouettes.
Another cool thing about dusk-wandering: spotting animals we don't usually run across. We sighted a male blue-winged teal, a rare find, for me anyway.
A couple of swans glided across the golden waters.
While they didn't reciprocate the awe of seeing us, their hastening retreat gave me the joy of seeing a face.
(Come on, you totally see a face here!)
The swamp (Which we affectionately call Yoda's Swamp) was once again full of life. And the smell! There is something about wet earth that is so invigorating.
The best find, though, by far was when we stumbled across a fell wanderer coming right at us along the trail.
He rose up on his hind legs and stared. We were only about fifty feet apart.I quietly counseled the kids to not move, and slowly raised my camera.
That was enough for him. And off he went!
That close encounter was the talk of our household for weeks to come. What were the odds? We would soon find out...
While some may be attracted to the big city scene, I am mesmerized by a simple jaunt in the forest.
Thankfully, I think my kiddos feel the same way.
My get-high drug: watching the sun set...
A furry friend even joined me on the beach.
He soon skittered of, but I choose to stay a while longer.
There is nothing better than to be taught by such a great artist, the Creator Jehovah God himself. We all benefited from our spring assembly.
Afterwards Rosa did something she'd been wanting to do for a long time: she got her ears pierced. Even Sponge Bob approves of her new look.
We ended our day in the big city with a meal at a Chinese Buffet. My fortune left me guessing...
Well, not really. I knew just where I was heading the next evening.
Yep, I really did go wandering just about daily in May. On this jaunt we saw the above deer, the below muskrat:
some pairs of teals:
and what have we here? It's our fellow wanderer, treed.
Sometimes when you look down, you get a clear view of what's up.
As we walked by the pine trees, they released thick clouds of pine pollen. It was really quite memorizing.
We were chattering away as we walked along the path when who should we stumble across?
Same place, same time, same reaction... but this time my camera was ready.
The encounter left us a bit too late to reach the beach before sunset, but the moon just about made up for it.
I think it was laughing about our repeat run-in too.
Mid-May had me seeing faces everywhere. I dubbed this little number toilet-pump face:
crying tree face:
Hey, you think my fetish is weird? I've got a son who can eat the insides out of a marshmallow.
If there is one thing I can't tolerate when wandering, it's seeing litter. We always bring along a bag just to put any trash we find in. I had to make an exception this one time, though. (These little guys were so tiny I almost didn't see them!) We decided to leave just that one scrap of paper be, for the time being.
Summer is officially just around the corner: we saw the first butterflies of the year.
Anna taking it all in:
All what? The hill of fresh greenery had sprouted a rainbow of wildflowers.
I can only wonder what the kids think of my nature-is-my-art-gallery fetish.
Anna and I were ecstatic when we found "the tree in love" again. I had erroneously thought it was one of the victims of last falls violent winds.
The warm sun brought out some other old friends of ours:
Not into creepers? This pleasant melody maker serenaded us with a merry springtime sonnet.
I caught my new sunset buddy watching us.
We ended the day's jaunt with a snack on the pier.
We ogled at the moon while waiting for the sun to put on it's nightly performance.
Lollygagging is an art worth practicing.
Picture perfect, as always.
A road trip beckoned us on a rare day we all had off of work. Our destination? Somewhere we could monkey around, of course.
Just. So. Cute.
See, this is what I'm takin about.
Just gives you warm fuzzies all over, doesn't it?
Yep, it's spring. Every animal had young ones. And young ones are, well, adorable.
Rosa brought her new camera, and made good use of it. A crow taking off from among a flock of geese made for a cool shot:
I took this shot for Ella, who still has a thing for turtles.
We could watch these clowns for hours:
Yup, cute the warm fuzzies...
Nature acting out a fun play on words: a catbird watching the prairie dogs.
The original hump-day gal posing by her posse:
Is a wild horse wild in a zoo?
Now, I'm pretty sure this doesn't belong in the zoo. (Cue John Cleese voice) "Right! Now that's too silly!"
The bog walk delighted Ella. (Cue the turtles!)
Nice pose, but this little fella one-upped him:
One turtle even reenacted the swamp-thing rising from the depths below.
Rosa loves foxes. Her camera captured this relaxed fellow.
While she loved seeing the turtles, nothing beats getting to reach out and touch a soul.
Although this is a close second.
She did try to jump right in with these chaps. (A flying catch by Alex prevented her dream from being realized.)
We could immerse ourselves in the coral reef anytime. Especially when we are the only people around.
Anna's favorite: the too-cute-to-be-real red panda:
We headed home with many found reminders of just how unique and awesome each and every creature is.
How else to top off the perfect day than to head to our stomping grounds and have some s'mores? Hey, look! A campfire visitor. I got to get her on film.
Pretty good shot.
A photographer is never satisfied with the first take, though.
She tried to warn me. She hissed. She coiled back, like a spring rolling up.
I should have respected her opinion. But instead I listened to mine: I'm far enough back. What can she do to me?
The impact sent me flying backwards.
Her beak had directly hit my lens. I inspected the damage while the kids laughed. She was fine, thankfully. I tried out the camera. It managed to take one final photo before the cracked lens frame completely broke.
I find it fitting that the last photo my beloved camera would ever take was of her smug smile.
Let's just say lesson learned.
As we wandered the woods I felt strangely naked without my camera. Nora took shots for me. We inspected the foxes' den. Look, a footprint!
Ella, Anna, and I with the setting sun: (Although I tried to put on a cheerful appearance, I think Ella could feel my inner sadness of loosing my beloved camera.)
My funk didn't last long. Cameras are replaceable, and I soon had a new one. Sharing life's journey with loved ones: irreplaceable!
May you always remember what truly matters along life's paths. (And heed any warnings along the way!)