Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Has Sprung...Finally...

A section of Alma Tadema's 'Spring' favorite painting at the Getty in L.A.)

Spring sprang last month. March 20th marked Ostara, 2017. If you are a person who identifies seasons according to weather patterns, you would've been highly confused here. The confusion would've begun well before Winter was over. Actually, here on the marsh, Winter didn't leave the area until a few weeks or so ago. When the somewhat frosty chill of what is described as 'cold' weather here on the marsh was still hanging in the air, we got hit with early pollen. Very heavy early pollen. Some of the azalea bushes around the condos even started to bloom. The camellia bush by our front...well, it's not really a porch...I'll call it our front 'slab', the camellia bush by our front slab was blooming in the depth of the marshes winter, but it usually does. No shocker there. They are an Evergreen. They dig partial shade. From what I've seen from the last number of years, once they're in a location they dig, they thrive even if it's freezing. Can't say that I necessarily thrive in cold or warmer weather. As I've said many times before, I would be a seriously happy camper if Autumn was the perpetual seasonal state. I love the Fall. I'll cut myself off there as I'll save my mooning over Autumn until it's actually here.

(The marsh)

For a few months the weather was crazy. One day the temperatures warranted warm and fuzzy apparel. The next day there would be t-shirt temperatures. The world outside kept switching back and forth, confusing everyone. Make up your mind, damn it! I got into a routine of having a coat handy every time I opened the front door. I'll just call it 'Schrodinger's Jacket'. I wouldn't know if it was cold or not cold until I opened the front door to check. Now we are approaching the middle of April, and I think it's safe to say that Winter has officially moved on. The days have been warmer, but not too warm. That will come with Summer. If this year's Summer is anything like the last, it'll be a real scorcher.

(Less of a shade on my favorite marsh spot since hurricane Matthew came through)

( the bird...)

Now that the days are longer and the weather a bit warmer, my opportunities for strolls after I get home from the mine have expanded. No, I can't really get out to hang with the marshes brand of nature when I have the closing shift at the mine...well, when it's a full moon...then I go out for some photos...however, I do have more openings to get out to decompress. It is very quiet here on the marsh. The only prevalent noises from neighbors are noises from the wind, the birds, the marsh neighbors. In my favorite spot on the marsh's edge, I can sometimes hear the *thup, thup* of car tires as Tybee residents head home over the Bull River Bridge. During evening strolls I can sometimes hear the clink of dishes and murmuring of unintelligible conversation as I pass some condos. So different from living in the city...from living in L.A. No helicopters buzzing the neighborhood. No police car or fire truck sirens. No hot tempered arguments of neighbors yelling at one another. Just the sounds of life. Of calm life. Calm is good. I dig calm.

The cattails that line the marsh edge have gone to seed. The thicker part of the reed gets an appearance of pulled cotton, clumpy and fuzzy. Much different than looking like a hot dog skewered on the end of a very long stick. They grow like crazy, and spread through their rhizomes (root system). They grow rather densely along the marshes edge like a tall leafy hedge. The grounds crew will come along and lay waste to all of the thick foliage that grows along with the cattails, but their roots systems bring them back thicker and fuller than the last time. Cattails are quite resilient. They also make it difficult for other marsh plants to grow in their proximity. If you're adventurous you could give eating cattails a go. Sections of the leaves can be eaten like a salad, and the younger "flowers" (brown hot dog looking section) can be roasted. Don't think I'll be trying that any time soon though.

('Tent' moth)
I always see something special on my walks. Whether it's a heron, a fairy circle of mushrooms, or cloud formation. One furry fellow I came across reminded me of Summers when I was younger. A Tent Caterpillar. Back then I had no idea what they were called, I just knew that they were soft, and I liked to pick them up to have them walk on my hands. I would also give them green leaves to munch on. The little guy pictured above appeared to be on his own. I tried to pick him up to move him to a tastier looking tree or bush, but he was very active. At one point he was hanging half off a leaf flailing his legs around. Apparently, it meant that he was agitated...something that escaped me as a child. I remember them leaving yellow "deposits" that I always thought to be caterpillar poo. It turns out it is a defense substance that is poisonous. They are said to be poisonous to horses, and are known to cause miscarriages in mares. Not entirely the fuzzy little play things I remember. As with all caterpillars, Tent's turn into moths. Not as beautiful as the Luna moths (I had the luck to see one up close right outside my front door a few years's a link to that post: ) the 'Tent' caterpillar moth is still cool looking.

(An open seed pod on one of the Sago Palms by the condos swimming pool fence)
So far, my pictures in this post are from Ostara day. Had meant to post them before now, but the mine has been absorbing a lot of my time. Once I get back into a regular swing on here things will get posted in a more timely fashion. As for the picture of the open seed pod above, I always swing by these Sago palms to see if the seed pods have returned. They are so alien looking. I always envision tentacles shooting out of the center. *snerk*

The last three photos were taken three days before April's Full Pink Moon. On my drive home from the mine I was coming over the bridge I always cross as I pass through Thunderbolt. I reached the top and saw Luna hanging up there in the blue sky. I love the Moon. I try to catch the bright orb of the Full Moon in a night sky every month, but I really dig seeing the Moon during the day. Since my current camera doesn't play well with the night (it's not a camera you can really mess with shutter speed on), it does take beautiful shots of a day time Moon. It shows more of the surface details.

When I got home I took a few minutes to begin my decompression, and then grabbed my camera. Most of my posts that have my pictures involved include at least one photo of my spot by the marsh. A spot that is now not as shady as it once was. (Thanks, Matthew.) There were about five tree deaths due to the hurricane in that spot alone. Really sad. It's not as shady as it was, but I'm not going to abandon it. There are still some surviving trees. They served as great props for these shots.

April has passed the halfway mark, and it doesn't seem possible. In a couple of months the year will be half over. Amazing. To quote Dorothy Parker: "Time doth flit, oh shit." I think in truth that everything flits if you let it. There's still plenty of 2017 to slow down and get my bearings. Falling into that rut of being a stagnant member of the rat race is so easy to do. Work, eat, sleep. Not a pattern I want to keep repeating. My creative brain has to get back in charge. Yeah, working in a frame shop has it's creative elements, but that doesn't cut it. Looking to my right I can see about ten projects I have been wanting to do. The time is ripe to stop the wanting and to get to the doing.

Summer is getting closer, and the days are getting warmer. Flowers are blooming, and mosquitoes are annoying.

Tomorrow is another day, and luckily it is also a day off.

A productive one it will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment