Sunday, April 26, 2015

more spring glory in eastern Kentucky

post #239
        Today is redbuds, lilacs, chickweeds, and a pear tree.  Spring here is all about intensity this year, starting late, lots of rain, and an eager world awaiting.

our pond, too full, very muddy from the hillside run-off

redbuds along the road at Forks of the Caney, showing Grayson Lake over-full and even muddier

This is usually the boat launch area, but these fisherpeople are making the most of what shore they can find.

"The one that didn't get away was THIS big!"

Another stop along the road, this time for a tall old pear tree:

I turned to look over the other side of the road from the pear tree: the old building I check every spring

NOT a redbud, but even so beside the road like a redwood would be

two chickweed photos, beside the road to the Laurel Gorge Cultural Heritage Center, where I was delivering two of my framed photos for their spring art show
Next some pairs of photos, since as usual I seem to be all about telling stories as I go:

Lilac in the yard, April 14, 2015
Same lilac stem, April 19, 2015

Now two from another lilac bush in our yard, very tall, seen from the second floor of the house in the first photo, and, in the other view, from below, outside, with a different sky on that same day, April 19, 2015.

I particularly like this photo. Just saying.  And I am going to stop now, more next week!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

SPRING FLOWERS, discoveries, and wonders

post #238
      Yesterday.  April 18, 2015.  Northeastern Kentucky.  A walk in our woods and beyond. A greater variety of wildflowers in one day than I ever remember happening.  Just two friends, Karen and Doug, and me, the cliffs and creeks, and so many surprises. This included the sun, even though, as a photographer, I would have preferred more clouds.  Well, since this blog is partly about photography itself, I'll add further that since we were there from before 2 until 5ish I may not have the best light in these photos, but I did get to experience the beauty of the place just for itself and in that time. What a gift. What an afternoon.
       Now for some visuals!
These hepatica are bloomed out, but the winter liver-shaped leaf is still there to identify the plants.

Everywhere there were the leaves of the trout lilies, but we only saw a few flowers.  We would have missed them all together if Doug had not spotted this one.  I hope I get to return in a few days to see if there is briefly a blanket of them on the forest floor.

nearby Dutchman's britches

     The area near the chimney (see two posts ago) has high cliffs.  Doug was wandering around up nearer the cliffs than the creek, which we were following, and he found a boulder covered with white trillium!  Closer to the creek we had been seeing just a few trillium, so it was like finding hidden away treasures in the attic.  The hepatica in the first photo are actually up on the boulder as well, surrounded by blooming trillium.

     Nearby there are many, many mayapples, not yet with the flower underneath the leaves, but almost ready for that part of their life:

         We figured out many of the flowers, but we weren't sure if this is a lady's slipper or is it some other kind of orchid:

BULLETIN:  My friend Ann S. identified this plant, on Monday, as a SHOWY ORCHIS!

an exhuberance of fiddleheads

    Next week, more flowers, and also some redbud photos!  This year I have managed to get more than one decent shot of a redbud tree!  Here is one photo until then, along the road to town:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rain, run-off, ridiculous wetness

post #237
       I am eager to return later today to this creek and to the hints of wildflowers that I visited in our woods just 4 days ago.  Everything is still very wet, and our eastern Kentucky earth is saturated by the constant rain.  I even have had an area of wet carpet in my gallery, where water has never been before.  We are not complaining, but everyone is ready for some drying out!  Gardens are being started, and also lawns mowed.  Thanks, F., for the lettuce in our cold frame, planted last fall.  And, special thanks, in this "I'm grateful" section, to Bob and the Stanley Steemer company.  He arrived at my gallery less than 12 hours after I called them at 9 at night!  It looks as if my carpet will make it now to enjoy another year.

hints of trillium and more, coming soon, maybe revealing themselves by today

These hepatica show the leaves their name derives from -- in the lower right corner of this second photo. 

the birth of fern fronds
       I also returned to the Howards' moss wonderland in the woods this week, and I made two more photos while there:

      Here is one last photo, looking up at daffodils at home.  This is especially for those of you still surrounded by winter.  It's my wish for everyone to have hopeful discoveries during this time of year.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

snakes as art -- and spring treasures as hope

post #236
       Today is a day between rains, giving me time to patch up our driveway to keep it from washing away even more during the rainy week to come. I live on a ridge, so flooding isn't a personal problem, but run-off is.  Friday evening the 1.85 inches of rain that came down -- in a short time -- did unusual damage here and in the area.  For us, since the quarter mile driveway is the only road to the house, we have to rely on its holding together! 
        In honor of somewhere dry, I am sharing these photos I made recently inside the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead.  I was delighted by the creative diversity and variety of snakes as walking sticks, along with snakes in other art forms as well.  And so well displayed!  The exhibit closes May 22, so slither on down there before they all hibernate....  (Full disclosure -- the store at the Center sells my photo note cards, and the folks who work there are great fun to do business with.)

       Today I also want to show some signs of spring.  The first photo is made by one of my photographer friends when we got together here two weeks ago, specifically in hopes of finding those early flowers in the woods.  (see post #234)

        PHOTO by DEBBIE ABELL, hepatica, 3/27/2015 -- not yet fully in bloom:
      PHOTO BY CHARLENE WARD, same day, nearby:

      Despite each of us having some knowledge of the flowers it took us awhile to positively identify this plant!  I just knew it is quite common.  We even had two flower books between the four of us.  We finally decided it was a kind of TOOTHWORT, and if I could back into the woods where we were, I would know what color the flowers turned out to be.

       MY TWO PHOTOS of some hepatica, showing them in their surroundings:

         These intrepid gifts of spring indeed are signs of hope -- and fascinating as well. 

   Recently, Kentucky has been in the news for heavy rains.  While the Louisville area seems to have been the most affected, we had a lot of water as well -- these two photos were made yesterday with Grayson Lake looking very full.  Usually this is where people put in their fishing boats, or, in our case, our photo-taking boat:

      I would like to close with the flowers last week in the yard of a remarkable person who died unexpectedly a week ago, Jean Howard, a much treasured friend to many as a piano teacher, and beloved by her husband - they actually met in the first grade. The world needs more such mischevious and funny souls, and I will miss her.
Jean no longer did the garden work herself, but continued to contribute to its mossy magic.