Images of Spring

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WHERE TO START? How about this closeup of a Camas blossom in a park outside of Seattle? The park used to be a golf club, and efforts are being made to slowly return the landscape to native habitat. Hence the recently planted Camassia quamash, a local meadow flower that grew in such profusion centuries ago, that Lewis and Clark are said to have remarked that the flowers gave the appearance of a lake in the distance. An important food source, the bulbs were gathered and eaten by indigenous people, and like many native plants it has suffered from habitat destruction. Now it’s often seen in perennial gardens.

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At the other end of the flowers-that-gain-our-respect spectrum are dandelions. The first crop has gone to seed, presenting macro photography opportunities. This one wore a glittering skirt of morning dew:

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This pretty little bud is another native that’s been planted here and there in the park, the Western Columbine, or Aquilegia formosa. You may have seen it in gardens:

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Squatting down in the wet grass and peering through it, as if you were a mouse, brings rewards. So does looking up.

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This is our native Vine maple, Acer circinatum, a slight tree with delicate branches and many-lobed leaves. Maples have tiny flowers in Spring – here, they make shadow play on the new leaves. Huge old willows in the park have taken a beating over the years, but the dead branches are left for the wildlife.

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Time to stroll along the willow-draped boardwalk to the water –

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On lake Washington, which hooks around to form a sheltered bay here at Juanita Bay Park, the water lily leaves have grown large enough to provide a resting spot for a weary frog, but aren’t quite big enough yet for the little Pied-billed Grebes, which will soon build nests on and among the lily pads.

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A pair of Wood Ducks, which nest in trees, scoots across the water. By this time the sun is glaring on the water and without a long lens, I can barely get a usable image. But you get the idea – they are eye-popping birds!

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As a pair of Bald eagles looks on from their post atop an empty osprey nest platform, a Mallard mother shepherds her little entourage of ten ducklings across the bay. She passes directly underneath them, but they’re uninterested in the foraging family.

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The abundant Western Painted turtles are safe from most predators and have reappeared on logs across the bay after spending winter in the mud. It’s very amusing when a heavier fellow climbs on board and the whole crew has to grab tight as the log starts to roll. Plop, plop, splash, as they fall in…

(Google log-rolling turtles and you’ll see some funny videos).

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After the walking and bending and all, it felt good to flop down on a bench and, legs splayed, lean back into the sun…

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In a few days I’m off to New York. It’s been over three years since I’ve been back and I feel out of touch. I’m looking forward to being around familiar places, sounds, smells (?), and people. But I’m kicking myself just a bit for leaving at the height of Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


48 comments

      • I’ve done that a few times. Have yet to truly figure out how to do video (Eric does that for me on his point n’ shoot). Then not entirely sure how to post video -used to, but I think WP changed something?

        Hope you’re enjoying your trip!

  1. So many wonderful signs of spring! Those fluffy ducklings are so aaw……..inspiring. The turtle chorus-line is hilarious. ๐Ÿ™‚ I mustn’t forget to mention the cute little frog as well. Have a great trip up north. I’ll also be there in a couple of weeks.

    • I know you love the animals and birds! The ducklings make the most wonderful sound as they move across the water – tiny, tiny peeps and little dabbling sounds. Delicious! Too bad we will not cross paths – we’re at opposite ends, aren’t we? And someone I was just talking to had been to Tampa and was raving about the beach – your piece of the universe is beautiful!

  2. love these springtime moments. there are wood ducks here in southwestern BC, too – but i never knew they nested in trees! thanks for sharing that info.
     
    and i have also never heard of log-rolling turtles. how funny is that! i googled, as you suggested, and quite enjoyed it. thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You may see wooden boxes on poles in marshy areas, in preserves – those are Wood duck nesting boxes. They traditionally use holes in hollowed out (dead) trees, not too far up. But sometimes I think it can be a ways up, and I’ve seen video on TV of a nestling jumping out of the next – aaiiieeee – and landing in the water. Amazing. As for Spring being here when I get back, I know you’re right, and I can always travel up in elevation, where time turns back…

  3. got directed here by a friend, and love your post! – several pictures are show stoppers (eg the dew skirts) and the accompanying “story” add so much.

  4. Another beautiful series of photos, Lynn. I especially love the dandelions with the raindrops (all the dandelions, really!) and the Western Painted turtles on the log. As well as the frog resting on the lily pads. Have fun in New York! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well, I did have fun! Thanks for commenting, and letting me know your favorites – always good to hear! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope your Virginia Spring is beautiful this year,.

      • You’re welcome, Lynn. Virginia spring is the pits! All we’ve had is one cold rainy day after another. It gets awfully depressing, although I know we need the rain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What a delightful post! I feel like I had a yummy daytrip to the lake, and great information included as well. I would like to add that orange to my columbine garden, which I’ll be posting images of soon. It’s in full bloom.
    How wonderful to catch a pair of wood ducks. I’m glad you shared the image even though the light was not your ideal. I get males now and then on the river, but I very rarely see a pair together.
    I think your dewy dandelion skirt could be a photo contest winner. Stunningly shot! I encourage you to find somewhere to submit it and see what happens. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Enjoy your trip to New York! The NW beauty will still be here when you return…

    • Juanita Bay Park is a terrific place to see pairs of Wood ducks, almost any time. Photographers line up with their big guns on the platforms to catch them swimming by. You should come up and take a look some time – it’s easy to find, easy parking, etc. And thanks for your comment about the dandelion – I should try more shots like that – there will probably be more opportunities! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Beautiful shots as ever Lyn and am sure you will enjoy your time in NY. Hope you’re not here just yet . . . the weather is so dreary and overcast, still waiting for spring to bust out. If you are here already . . . still have a great time!

    • Well, the weather wasn’t ideal, was it? And now it’s drizzly and cool here, but after some warm, sunny days that dried us out, the rain is good. We have to figure out how to work with what we’ve got, right? It was a huge pleasure seeing you!

  7. These are just wonderful Lynn! The need to rejoice is within us all with the passing of winter and you have captured this so perfectly. Your excitement and pleasure with the passing of the seasons is palpable through your beautiful photographs. Such a pleasure to view!!

  8. A beautiful feel of spring with this post ~ the dandelion shots were magnificent…I miss them. It’s been a long time since I’ve blown away the seeds ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve seem to have captured the essence of springtime in the northwest, the first shot of the camassia quamash is beautiful. I have never known about this flower, and what a history. Seeing the photo and then your description that Lewis and Clark are said the flowers gave the appearance of a lake in the distance…makes me imagine what a scene it was they saw. Beautiful photos Lynn ~ safe travels and happy shooting.

    • It’s a pretty reliable park for presenting one with something interesting every time. Lots of willows, bunnies, all the birds, turtles all summer, and happy families. They’re slowly restoring the habitat. It used to be a golf course, so you can imagine there are lots of things to change, but also a nice basic structure and landscape to work with. It’s fun to see the wildflowers they keep planting, which will look more natural as time goes by.

  9. Another beautiful collection, Lynn. I know nothing of the Camas. May they flourish! And may you photograph them doing so. I love love love your mouse view and the glittering dandelion skirt.

  10. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even with the flip screen, bending down that far can be a bit of a pain. But I’ve always liked just sitting on the ground and seeing things differently. Thank you!

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