Posts Tagged With: Spring

Anti-Ansel Adams Series – Narcissus

I know.

I took my time.

And after all that effort I put into explaining my theory behind the Anti-Ansel Adams Series too! (If you missed it, you can find it here).

I expect, for the time being, I’ll stick with flowers. I took this picture while I was out in my back yard. The light was fading, and I could hardly see the image after I took it. But I clicked a button on Photoshop – I call it “season-all” –  you know that one … Image > Adjustments > Adjust All.

And Voila!

This was the result.

 

SONY DSC

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

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Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My 200th post. The Hawthorn Tree

I know I posted this a couple of days ago, but I’m going to be sneaky and link this to the Weekly Photo Challenge for the topic of Spring! I think it fits quite nicely, and besides, we all need a bit of hope, so the more viewers the merrier 🙂

 

OK … 200 posts in in 26 months isn’t the most prolific blogging record, although considering the nightmare my life has been and the fact I did leave the scene for over a year, it’s not a bad achievement. So figured I’d better make it a decent post, as I may not make it to another hundred.

I wrote the following tale a couple of years ago, in a creative writing class, for our local MIND newsletter, and I’ve read it out loud a couple of times at our WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) group.

I noticed, when I was out on one of my little walks in the countryside, that the hedgerow branches in the shadows weren’t blooming as vigorously as the ones in the sunshine, and it got me thinking …

Feel free to share this with someone you feel may be losing hope in the cards life is dealing. I know I do on many occasions, and we all need to dig deep to find our own inner strength at times.

Peace.

THE HAWTHORN TREE – A Tale of Hope

 

SONY DSC

 

Near a pond, near a wood, stood a hawthorn tree. It was very tall and very grand, and it would have been considered a very Majestic hawthorn tree had there not been a small problem.

 

After winter was over and the ice had thawed, the tree began to grow shoots along its branches, and the shoots began to sprout leaves. As the days became warmer, the tree began to grow flower buds; hundreds and hundreds of clusters of little white flower buds tightly curled into balls. The buds waited patiently to open into pretty hawthorn blossoms. They needed plenty of sun to warm them and encourage them to open up and say hello to the world.

 

As the days grew longer and the winter clouds began to dissolve away, the hawthorn tree prepared itself to burst into blossom. The buds became plumper and their stalks grew longer, lifting them away from the leaves so that they could capture as much of the sun as they could when it passed by.

 

When the time came that the sun was warm and bright enough, the buds readied themselves to open up and blossom. They stretched their stems and followed the bright, golden orb as it made its way across the sky. But even though the day was long and the sun’s journey took it from one edge of the sky to the other, some of the buds could not see the sun. Some of the branches were facing the other way. The tree called out to the sun and asked it to send light and warmth to the other branches, but the sun said it was bound to travel along the same route every day and had no way to reach them. Even as it tried to send the warmest, brightest light to all parts of the tree, some of the branches would always remain in the shade, and the buds were never touched by the sun’s rays of life.

 

This continued for many years, and the tree continued to grow taller and wider and stronger. But it could never be a Majestic hawthorn tree, because there would always be a side of it that remained dark green; where the bees never visited and the insects and birds never made their homes. As spring brought warmer days, the sunny side of the hawthorn tree burst into glorious white blossoms, filling the air with heady perfumes and bringing the bees and the birds to its branches. But on the shady side of the tree, the buds remained tightly closed and were filled with sadness. They longed to be able to flourish and dance like the other blossoms, but they knew they were disadvantaged. They didn’t have the same opportunities as the blossoms on the sunny side, and they could not see how it was possible to grow when they never received any warmth or light from the sun. It had always been this way since the tree was a sapling, and they resigned themselves to believe it would always be this way in the future.

 

“We are doomed to stay closed,” one bud cried.

“Never to be pollinated,” wailed another.

“Never to be nested!” another called.

“Never to bloom,” sighed another.

“We may as well die,” whispered a fifth.

 

More buds joined the lament, until the shady side of the hawthorn tree was mourning with misery and defeat.

“Nonsense!”

A voice piped up from the middle of the shady side and stopped the wailing in its tracks.

“Our side of the tree may be dark, and it may be cold and gloomy … but we did not become buds just to give up now!”

A young bud stretched its stem as the others looked on. The bud continued:

“Will you wallow in your own misery forever? You think because we live in the shade we cannot find our own light.  We may not have such an easy, warm and bright life as those on the other side of the tree, but surely, that should make us stronger! I know we can still find a way to bloom. It will just need a little more effort. We have our nutrition and we have our health, and if we try a little harder and believe in ourselves, we can blossom too! The bees will visit us and the birds will nest. We are young and strong, and I, for one, am not ready to give up yet.”

With that, in spite of the darkness and in spite of the lack of warmth, the bud pushed and pushed and pushed until … pop!  It burst open to reveal the most beautiful blossom on the tree.

The other buds on the shady side cheered his success and, from him, gained a new determination to succeed, even in the shade. They pushed and pushed, and even when it all seemed too difficult, they willed each other on to push again. Soon the shady side of the hawthorn tree was full of blossoms, spreading their heady aroma across the pond and through the woods.

The hawthorn tree was very proud. It began fluffing up its leaves, shaking its blossoms, and stretching its branches higher for the world to see. Bees and birds and insects of all species came to visit from miles around to pollinate and make their homes there. The tree no longer had a patch of dark green where blossoms should have been. It was draped in the most marvellous cloak of white flowers on every branch and every side.

It truly was a Majestic hawthorn tree.

SONY DSC

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Spring has sprung! WPC: Inside a snowdrop

Inside snowdrop 1

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,    Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,      And pensive monitor of fleeting years! - William Wordsworth -

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
– William Wordsworth –

I lived overseas for many years (a two-week trip that lasted 17 years …), and despite my love of the wanderlust life, there were a few things I missed about England throughout that time: one was Marmite, another was Woodpecker Cider … and telephone boxes, and double decker buses, and Coronation Street, and sarcasm.
But, more than sherbet fountains or teabags or the Arctic Monkeys, after living in the sweltering balminess of places such as Southwest Texas and Louisiana, I found myself longing for seasons!
Granted, upstate New York had seasonal change, but their winters were a bit extreme, unless trudging through 8-foot snowdrifts is your idea of fun.
No, I missed English seasons – unpredictable, often erratic, with mild winters, cold summers, and slushy autumns … And most of all, I missed the English spring and the flowers that come with it.

So when I returned to England with my son and we “settled” in our first real home, I made a point of filling every nook and cranny of our tiny back yard with bulbs that flower every spring and herald the new green of the year.

Snowdrops are my particular favourite. There’s not a lot to them – just a trio of white waxy petals with a dash of green inside …. but they are often the first flowers to nuzzle their way through the frost, and the sight of them always brings a smile to my face.

(As usual, click on the picture for a better look).

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rain and me …

I tried to write a rain poem to accompany this photo, but in the end I just couldn’t say it better than Shel Silverstein did in 1974.

I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can't do a handstand-- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head. Shel Silverstein 1974

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein 1974

(Click on the picture if you want it bigger and better – I recommend it with this one!)

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s my anniversary … time for a Wee Beastie! (#62)

The Computer God just sent me a message to inform me that today (as of approximately twelve minutes ago) is the anniversary of this blog site.
The second anniversary to be exact.
And, granted, while I have taken a substantial hiatus since my very first blog post “Into the Rabbit Hole” on 27th February, 2012, I am still about to press “publish” on my 183rd posting.

So in true reminiscent sentimentality, I feel a fitting tribute would be to return to my love of Wee Beasties. This is technically Wee Beastie #62 for those of you who may have a need for such numerical reminders – although I wouldn’t blame you if you have lost count, as my last Wee Beastie posting was as long ago as September 2012, when I finally discovered a grasshopper, doing what it does best (hopping in the grass?) during a day trip to Whitby. You can find it here if you fancy a trip down memory lane.
If you want to take a look at any of my previous woodland mini-fauna, just type “wee beasties” in the search box, or “bug-a-day” as they were initially called.
(I abandoned the term Bug-a-Day after number 39 as it started to sound a bit like a celebration of a rather unconventional sex act …).

I’m not sure (yet) exactly what this little darlin’ is, but I know that I’ve photographed it before in conventional light, so I’ll be digging out some of my back-catalogue of pictures and figure it out soon enough. I didn’t even realise it was in the picture until I was looking through some close-ups I took of a miniature iris flower that had opened up to welcome the Spring last evening.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to me, and Happy Blogging to you x

Wee Beastie on Iris

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Through a dewdrop darkly …

You may recall that yesterday’s quick pic of a sycamore seedling had tiny dew droplet in the background …?

These two pictures are taken from the other side of that composition.
Voila!
Tiny dew droplet now takes front and centre stage!
Feel free to click on the pictures, and see them in all their microscopic glory:

A host, Innumerable as the stars of night Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun Impearls on every leaf and every flower. John Milton - Paradise Lost

A host,
Innumerable as the stars of night
Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
John Milton – Paradise Lost

Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A bit more Sycamore ….

I’ve noticed that a few of the real photography bloggers I follow have a trend of presenting a group of pictures gradually through the week that all adhere to a particular theme. For example, one week, they may present a series of photos that illustrate shadows … or trees … or Spain … or dancing …. or flamingos. Then the next week, they’ll showcase a series of pictures illustrating daisies …or pigs … or … well, you get the drift.

For what it’s worth, I’m not one of those people.

Perhaps when I grow up, I could be a real photography blogger too; but in the meantime, it just happens that I took a lot of pictures of Sycamore seedlings on the weekend, and I’m not in the mood to be remotely inventive, nor go for another walk.

So … more Sycamores it is then.

Don’t forget to click on the picture to get a truer, sharper, clearer image!

Oh, and by the way, remember that droplet in the background, cos you’ll be seeing it again tomorrow ….

Seedling with dewdrop

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

I admit I’m a user.
Once again, and already, I am struggling with posting anything of any significance since showing back up after all this time a couple of days ago.

So, when in doubt, stick a photo on here.
Or, in this case, stick three photos on here and act like you’re participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I collected quite the bevy of pictures during my little visit to the woods the other day, but just for the moment I’m going to continue with the Sycamore seedling theme. Those of you who remember me from days gone by will recall my fascination with the whole close-up scene (clue’s in the name of the blog I suppose…) but even on deeper, less energetic days, the wonderment I receive when I look really closely at Nature never fails me.
Consider that the plantlet being photographed was literally knee-high to a grasshopper (a quirky English phrase meaning “very little” to those beyond the sea) and you too may gain a little moment of reverie in the working of Ms Nature herself.

Click on the photos themselves for better size and clarity.

Peace

Close

Close

Closer

Closer

Closest

Closest

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Crushed

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt, But still, like dust, I'll rise. Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Maya Angelou

(Click on photo above for greater size and clarity)

I write today to commemorate (for want of a much more appropriate word…) a minor milestone.
Today begins my fiftieth year in existence, in this life anyway.

I won’t be celebrating. Conversely, I have much to mourn.
I have not been writing of late, and, therefore, those of you who remember me from postings before will have no more than an inkling of the car crash my life has become in the past couple of years.

Once upon a time, I was a hugely energetic, life-loving, nonchalant freebird who wandered the world, lived off my wits and relied on academic scholarships and bold-faced cheek to get me through. I purposely strayed from the main track, preferring the roads less travelled and by doing so, I met, in my opinion, far more interesting people along the way. So interesting, in fact, that I chose to study many of them at a PhD level before being politely booted off the course in my second year because, in the words of an eloquent professor at Syracuse University, I didn’t “fit the idiom.” To this day, I have no clue what that means, but it sounds like a jolly good phrase to hold onto.

Yet, here I sit, fifteen years on from those glorious, carefree, golden days, and my world has fallen to pieces.
I have lost many things in the last few months – job, income, house, dignity, mind. But far and away the most painful loss of all has been, sadly, my son, who is now in the “care” of the authorities and is not allowed to live with me anymore.

There is not a day, an hour, a moment that I don’t pine for my only child, wishing things could be different or that the clock could be turned back, and every day has become a challenge of extraordinary proportions just to be able to function on a most basic level.

But it’s my 49th birthday today, and I think it is important, for me at least, to now start to return to a state of conscious understanding and peel through the layers of madness to figure out just what went wrong. I want to tell our story, because there appears to be little helpful literature about domestic violence as perpetrated by a young child against a parent. But I don’t want to do it here. I would rather tell the story on a sister blog (yet to be constructed) because I want to keep “Alice through the Macro Lens” as a form of respite, for lighter postings.

My experiences in the last two years have led to an abysmal loss of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, and I gave up those parts of me that gave me pleasure – including my photography and my writing. So I have been occasionally surprised when, even during my long absence from posting, I received messages from fellow bloggers, asking after me, and reminding me that the work I once presented on this blog was appreciated. And I thank you for that.

And, even under the current circumstances, I recognise that my son needs me to be a parent (however distant at the moment) who is strong, fulfilled, and confident in her abilities. So I will attempt to rise again, like the sycamore seedling that I photographed this morning rising from the rotting leaves and lichen on the forest floor. I will endeavour to regain my creative spirit, and I hope some of you will remain with me as I begin this second, difficult journey to some semblance of recovery.

Peace.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stuff on my Window Sill ….

It is absolutely chucking it down with rain today, my car is knackered, and I am content to stay in the house in my dressing gown and slippers.

So in the absence of any walks through the forest, or around the castle, or over to the reservoir, I busied my photographic mind with pictures of what is on my kitchen window sill. Yes, I know the geraniums should have been planted outside by this time of year – but …. oh well, no excuse.

I realise I’m starting to be recognised as the “Bug Lady,” and I just wanted to remind myself that I do have other interests 🙂

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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