Wordless Wednesday: Violas

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge #39 – Hello April

I love taking pictures of orchids; they are just so photogenic.  My mom’s petite orchids are blooming in her kitchen window, a lovely welcome to April.

However, here in Ohio, it is snowing and freezing outside.  Check out the ice on the window!

In that second photo, you can see a female cardinal on the bush outside if you look closely in the center.  The birds were very glad for the feed my parents put out today.

Here’s to spring coming soon.

You can find April greetings at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Crocuses

Hi everyone!  My Camp Nano project is going decently well; I’ve managed a few hundred words nearly every day this month so far.

Today was gorgeous out, so I took a break to get some of my garden beds in order.  Two weeks ago we had some beautiful crocuses near our front steps.

But now the flowers are gone, so I needed to get the dead oak leaves and acorns out, and put mulch in.  Because I was too lazy to do this in the fall.

Everything looks much neater now.  I have some snapdragons in that bed that somehow keep coming back every year, so I pulled all the crocus leaves out of the way to give them some space and light.

Snapdragon baby, no longer being covered by crocus leaves

Foliage from bulbs, like crocuses, can’t be cut right away because it’s producing the food that the plant will need to bloom and grow again next year.  I tied mine in loose bundles with some string, which is still not ideal since it can limit the amount of photosynthesis the leaves can do.  But as you can see, we have a lot of crocuses and I won’t cry if a few don’t bloom next year.  I’d rather the snapdragons not die.

Seasonal Reads: Pride and Prejudice

Do you ever find yourself coming back to a certain story at a certain time of year?  I often re-read books during a specific month or season that I feel is inextricably tied to the book.  Here’s what I’m reading right now to get in the spirit of the season.

 Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

P&P

Pride and Prejudice is probably the non-YA novel that I’ve reread the most.  I have multiple copies of it, and it was one of the few English novels I took to Spain with me during my study abroad.  I’ve even psychoanalyzed its characters.

For me, spring is a wonderful time to re-read P&P.  The story takes place over the course of a year, so really any time is a good time, as all seasons contain some significant event, from Mr. Bingley’s arrival at Michelmas, to the Gardiners’ summer trip to Derbyshire.  The beginning of April brings one of the defining moments of the story, Darcy’s ill-fated proposal to Elizabeth at the parsonage at Rosings.  It is a perfect “Act II” moment, the low point in their relationship, but it becomes the starting point for change and growth in both characters.

I also associate the book with spring because that’s when I first read it in my junior year of high school.  It was not actually my first Austen novel (I’d read Emma two years before), but it is the book that made me a Janeite.  For my Brit Lit class, we had to do a multimedia group project, and one girl in our group was a talented artist, so we painted a big movie-poster-style piece of Elizabeth with Darcy and Pemberley in the background.  I admit it was heavily inspired by the 1995 BBC miniseries, of which we watched all 6 VHS tapes, borrowed from the library, as we worked.

As the prototype of modern rom-coms, P&P is ultimately a happy, optimistic book–I think that’s another reason I enjoy reading it in spring, a time of new beginnings.  Despite its cutting depictions of characters such as Lady Catherine and Elizabeth’s parents, and its sardonic quips about societal expectations, it still seems full of hope.  It never fails as a pick-me-up, and hence I will keep rereading it whenever I’m in need of some cheer.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

 

Ecuador flowerFrom highlands around Quito, Ecuador.

We visited Ecuador and the Galápagos in late May.   But these regions have unusual climates, because despite being on the Equator, Ecuador is very mountainous and the Galápagos are fed by the Antarctic waters of the Humboldt current.  The Humboldt is a prime reason the volcanic islands are able to support so much life.

The end of May is the end of the “wet season,” so there were plenty of things blooming and plenty of wildlife to be seen.