I don’t generally think of conifer trees as growing new leaves. But they do – every spring!
The contrast in color and the variety startled me when I saw these trees around a church in Ankeny, Iowa, U.S. My camera was in the car so I put it to use.
“The needlelike leaves may be long or short, flat or round. … Most species are evergreen, keeping their needles all year. Needle leaf trees are also called conifers because most of them bear fruits called cones.”
– George A. Petrides, Peterson First Guide to Trees
In order to identify the trees with any certainty, I need to take the guidebook with me and go take a closer look at the trees. Using broad categories, I’m pretty sure there’s a pine, a spruce and a fir among these pictures.
I don’t know about you, but for me these days of COVID-19 pandemic seem to run one into another. Just the other day I said something about going to a niece’s High School graduation. My best beloved asked, “Where?” He was genuinely disappointed when I said we would go virtually like we go nearly everywhere else.
Stepping outside the house helps keep – or restore – some sanity. Even on overcast, gray days the natural world is keeping its beautiful annual transformation.
THREE CONSECUTIVE SATURDAYS
One set of Ornamental Flowering Pear Trees.
The trees are pretty when driving or walking by. But I think the individual blossoms are prettier!
Even after the petals fall off, the remaining sepals, pistils and stamens have a beauty of their own. Notice the silhouettes against the sky.
Hoping you are able to step outside and see something beautiful today.
Though delinquent in posting anything to my blog, I have taken some photos in the last three weeks! These are of the same flowering crab apple tree on three consecutive Saturday mornings. Spring is fading into summer.
The Crab Apple visible out our back windows is gloriously pink. So I took my camera when my beloved and I went for a short stroll on Saturday.
Since I had the camera I paused to take pictures of the white blossoms along our street. I have no idea what they are and am to lazy to try to find out. Just want to enjoy the colors and shapes and textures.
“Oh, they’re back,” I thought as one Canada goose stood at attention and honked at me to stay away. Another was floating in the run-off pound. A third was sitting on the nest. Canada Geese don’t seem to ever fully leave this area; my thought had to do with the nest.
It’s a sign of hope. The pond used to be an excellent place for a goose to raise a family. Four or five years ago there would be six or more goslings there. Occasionally the parental units would stop traffic to march the young ones across the street to the larger neighborhood pond.
But then a medical building went up just south of it. And now new condos are being built to the west. I saw the geese and their nest a year ago. But never did see any goslings. Hope springs eternal.
The nest was my first thought for the Tuesday Photo Challenge of HOPE. So I grabbed the camera when my best beloved and I headed out for a walk yesterday. One Canada goose was on the nest; a pair of mallard ducks was nearby.
The walk itself – with proper physical distancing from whoever else might be out – provides a bit of hope in this era of COVID-19 pandemic. Getting out of the house to enjoy sunshine and blue sky is as much for our mental health as it is for physical well-being.
An annual sign of hope are swelling leaf buds. I marvel at the variety. Here are a few pictures from our corner of the world on the last day of March.
One of my first thoughts to this photo challenge was mathematical: slope equals rise over run. My dad – a retired high school math teacher – chose the top picture because it clearly shows a slope of about 30 degrees. I’m definitely my father’s daughter!
All three pictures are of Dry Land Pasture in Eastern Montana. It’s pasture, according to Dad, because “there’s grass and they run cows on it.” Dad may have been a math teacher, but he was always glad to help friends out on a ranch: milking a cow if they had to be out of town, branding calves in the spring, haying fields and stacking bales in summer, feeding cattle in the winter.
This particular August day Dad and I and one of my nephews were out at the Neumann Ranch to check the garden and to play with our cameras. Glad to have a chance to share a few shots. Thanks, Frank, for the photo challenge!
I don’t remember taking family vacations as a kid growing up in eastern Montana. I do remember camping trips – to Medicine Rocks State Park, the Long Pines, the Beartooth Mountains, and Yellowstone National Park.
As a young, single, professional adult working in Helena, Montana, I took a Girl Scout Troop (Juniors) to Yellowstone National Park (with other adults to help drive and supervise).
But as far as I can remember, last fall – when my husband and I were doing a little sight-seeing on our way home from a wedding – was the first time I stopped to see Gibbon Falls.
It is as steep as it looks – straight down on both sides of the Gibbon River! Gibbon Falls itself has a drop of 84 feet (26 m).