Monday, March 19, 2018

Happy Spring!

Happy first day of spring! I'm going to call this the first robin of spring, even if I took this pic a couple days ago. Isn't this a cute robin, with those little eyebrows? I swear, sometimes it seems like birds are posing as I photograph them. I'm enjoying seeing and hearing the birds. It makes me feel like there's some life out there! Aside from the birds, it doesn't exactly feel like spring around here, but at least there's no snow on the ground.

I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately or on the internet in general. I had a nasty accident with a craft knife a few weeks ago and that made typing difficult. But now I'm back and typing nearly close to normal!

Some of you who follow me on Twitter might know that I was planning to cut some Papel Picado. I picked up a few books from the library for inspiration:

I picked up those books shortly before having that accident, so I haven't been physically or mentally in the place where I wanted to do intricate paper cutting with little knives the past two weeks! I might end up using scissors. We'll see. In any event, I picked up some colorful tissue paper from Dollar Tree today, so I'm ready to go! If this project turns out well, I'll blog about the results. The plan for now is to frame them.

So back to spring, in celebration of the new season, here are some photos from Sunday's trip to the park! These pics will give you an idea of what March is like in Wisconsin. There's not a lot going on, plant-wise. But if you look closely, you'll see that those plants that went to seed or dried out over winter can form some interesting shapes. Like these thistles:

Interesting how those parts curve around where the flower was. And this, whatever it is...

If you use your imagination, you could see this as a super furry caterpillar. Those pieces at the bottom could be seen as legs. But my guess is that the "fur" has some seeds attached to it. And then there's this mysterious object:

I had been thinking it was either the one hunk of ice that was somehow left in the forest, or maybe a weird type of fungi that was new to me. I poked at it with stick and flipped it over. It was styrofoam!

This looks like a barn owl, doesn't it?

Speaking of birds, there were some seagulls and geese swimming in the pond. Just as I was taking a photo of this seagull, it dipped under to catch something, and made this cool display. This is the kind of picture I probably wouldn't get again if I tried! See what I mean about the birds posing? 😉

There's a wooded area up the hill from this pond and if you really pay attention, you can witness some interesting things there. Like that tree candling last year. This time, there were all kinds of little popping noises coming from the trees. It sounded like popcorn popping. I assumed it was bugs at first, but I couldn't see any. I stood very close to the trees and it sounded like the popping was coming from inside the branches or pinecones. Anyone know what I was hearing? It was like the trees were waking up after winter. Pinecones expanding? Sap dripping? I just don't know. These were the trees that were popping:

Another tree definitely had some sap going:

Isn't that color beautiful?

These are like tiny little tree roses:

Curling birch bark:

Looks like a nice place for a picnic, doesn't it?

Back on the road:

I'll end with some pics of what was one of the more relaxing parts of this walk.

The sun was sending these sparkles off the water, making it look like glass.

Now that I'm looking over these photos, I'm thinking it was looking a little more like spring than I thought. I'm just ready for some warmer weather and plants popping up! How's the beginning of spring where you all are? I've heard weather reports of everything from 70° to blizzards from you guys this past week!


  1. Great photos! A walk in the woods does a world of good for a person. Glad you are on the mend. Cuts are nothing to be trifled with. The popping noise got me curious and I ran across this. I found it interesting.

    1. Jeanne ~ Thank you! :) That is so true. I felt instantly calm there. You're right, you have to be careful with cuts. Mine has gotten constant attention the past few weeks and I'm feeling good about how I'm healing up.

      Thanks for looking that up and sharing the link! Ah, the pinecones. As that person wrote, it does make you feel like you're hearing their secrets. And just typing that made me feel like The Log Lady from Twin Peaks! ;)

  2. Hope your hand is getting better Justine. It is indeed Spring, even if the temperatures say otherwise!

    1. Alison ~ Thanks, it is! It's amazing how well it has healed in just two weeks.

      Oh, I know. It was back to feeling like winter again today. We had this incredibly cold/strong wind today. Last Sunday, when I took these photos, was so nice! Hopefully we'll have another day like that soon.

  3. Thanks for posting these pics. I loved them. Popping was probably sap or pine cones--not sure which. If the sun warms them up they do some strange things.
    Here in northern Ill, it's been like pulling a wisdom tooth to get warmer temps. I guess April is when we'll get warm. Buuuut... I've seen the very tops of tulips etc. poking their heads up, so everything wants it to be spring except the weather!
    I've been working in watercolors, and have posted on my blog with pics, if you care to check it out.

    1. Lorelei ~ Thank you! :) Glad you enjoyed these photos. Have you heard the pine trees too? This was a first for me. Jeanne posted a comment above with a link to some tree info. Sounds like it was the pinecones. I got a kick out of the stories I've read online, of people hearing these pops and looking for the squirrel/bird/insect they think is making the noise. :)

      Oh, I know. It was like winter again today. I was out in my full winter gear. I was looking at some pics from last April today and in those photos I had on shorts and a t-shirt! It was crazy to see that as I'm all bundled up now. I hope to be wearing shorts in just a couple weeks!

      Yup, the plants are ready to go. They're popping up here too. I bet they were confused today. I imagine the plants were thinking "Huh? It's winter again?" :)

      Cool! I'll check out your blog. I've been away from other people's blogs along with my own lately. Yes, come on spring! We're ready!

  4. A few years back I brpught some pine cones home from the grounds of the local cemetery. It was Christmas time and I strung them together with thread and hung them round the living room. Came down in the next morning and noticed all these little tiny brown things on the floor in the area beneath the string of cones. I looked at the cones and noticed they had all opened up over night in the heat of the house, thus releasing their tiny seeds!

    1. P.E. Cor ~ Wow! That's pretty cool, especially since I expected the "little tiny brown things" in the story to be insects! That is probably because of an experience I had years back with some acorns. I collected some acorns and brought them home, without knowing of the acorn weevil! If you ever see a little hole drilled into an acorn, that is the work of the weevil. Anyway, the acorns I brought home had holes in them, and the weevil grubs were crawling about after leaving the acorns. Yeah, pretty gross!