ANTICIPATION

Spring will be here soon…just a little longer…

Unless you’re on the other side of the equator, of course, in which case you may be anticipating fall. Here in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, spring teases us in March. We know it’s coming; the days are noticeably longer, the light brighter. But spring comes in fits and starts as winter lingers on.

Maybe a full immersion in April flowers would suit us now, as March gets underway. I’ve gathered a virtual bouquet of photographs taken in April, ranging from 2004 through 2020. There’s a shot of New York City rooftops from 2008, pictures from gardens in and around Seattle, and scenes from the streets of Amsterdam. There are daffodils and tulips as well as mosses and grasses. Should I arrange them in chronological order or mix them up? I’ll figure that out as I go along.

That was fast. Mix them up.

*

1. Ethereal pinks and greens, as delicate as a gentle April shower. Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, Shoreline, WA. 2017. (Erythronium revolutum)

2. Pink dogwood always brings a smile. Snug Harbor Botanical Garden, Staten Island, NY. 2011.

3. Built to entice, this Cypripedium orchid blooms in late April at Heronswood Garden, Kingston, WA. 2017.

4. Don’t forget to look down. Cherry blossoms and a dandelion on a residential street. Amsterdam. 2019.

5. In a shop window I see a joyful collage of fresh flowers, whimsical clothes, and a tree reflection. Amsterdam, 2019.

6. What is April without tulips? Leiden, Netherlands. 2019.

7. A native Foam flower provides sustenance to an early insect. Deception Pass State Park, WA. 2019. (Tiarella trifoliata)

8. Hostas are looking energetic at Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. Staten Island, NY. 2011.

9. The fields are greening up, the poplar trees are beginning to leaf out and April storms are keeping everything going. Duvall, WA. 2013.

10. A Checkerboard lily nods demurely at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Seattle, WA. (Fritillaria meleagris)

11. At another botanical garden just outside Seattle, a Chocolate vine blooms. Bellevue Botanic Garden. Bellevue, WA. 2017. (Akebia quinata)

12. April in the city means rainy days and cherry blossoms. Staten Island, NY. 2008.

13. Layers of native lilies at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Seattle, WA. 2017. (Erythronium oregonum)

14. Maple trees have flowers, too, and they often bloom in April. Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. Staten Island, NY. 2011.

17. Tiny Shooting stars, as elegant as one could imagine. Fidalgo Island, 2018. (Dodecatheon jeffreyi)

18. Getting ready for the annual Spring Flower Sale at Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. Staten Island, NY. 2011.

19. Violets, violets, violets. Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. Staten Island, NY. 2011.

20. Tightly coiled and ready to unfurl, a Sword fern follows the rules of Spring. O.O. Denny Park. Kirkland, WA. 2016. (Polystichum munitum)

21. An unidentified grass blooms in a wildflower meadow. Fidalgo Island. 2020.

22. Someone is hiding on a Trillium petal at PowellsWood Garden. Federal Way, WA. 2017. (Trillium grandiflorum)

23. White daffodils in a garden. Fidalgo Island, WA. 2020.

24. A sea of daffodils borders a canal. Leiden, Netherlands. 2019.

25. Skunk cabbage, or Swamp lantern, in black and white. Mercer Slough. Bellevue, WA. 2012.

26. A bold Magnolia bud basks in the sunshine. Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle, WA. 2016.

27. More magnolias – I can’t get enough of them. Bellevue Botanic Garden. Bellevue, WA. 2017.

28. Apple blossoms at Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle, WA. 2016.

30. A woodland path bursting with lime-green leaves and pretty wildflowers. Fidalgo
Island. 2020.

31. Bracken ferns make amusing, tight-fisted fiddleheads. Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Duvall, WA. 2014. (Pteridium aquilinum)

32. A Chionodoxa plant comes inside to keep me company. Brewster, NY. 2004.

33. This delicate Grass widow blossom will be gone in a few days. Such ephemeral beauty is worth looking for, even if it grows only a few inches tall. When the time comes, I’ll be looking for it! Fidalgo Island, WA. 2020. (Olsynium douglasii)

I hope you enjoyed this visual immersion into one person’s love affair with the month of April. There’s no question that every month has plenty to offer – I’m just partial to this one and I’m looking forward to greeting it again.

***


94 comments

    • Some color to brighten up your day…I’m glad you enjoyed it…April is my favorite month but March has the excitement of so much promise in the air. Have a good weekend, and keep your hands in the dirt! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gerhard, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Another long German word that I cannot begin to pronounce, but I imagine it describes the flight of that tiny insect. I hope the Checkerboard Festival is not too disrupted by the pandemic. We could use some festivals! Have a good weekend!

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  1. Pure unadulterated bliss, Lynn! That delicious dogwood, holy magnolia, and fabulous fritillary (checkerboard you called it?) All so lovely and that shop window had me entranced. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I miss some of the things that don’t thrive here but I just did a floral dance and the Algarve is in bloom. Have a beautiful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holy magnolia – I like that – you made me smile. Aren’t they wonderful? I’ve heard those bulbs called fritillary, too, I think. It’s actually a native wildflower here but the wild ones are a lot smaller than the garden versions, of course. Glad you liked the shop window – there were several good ones that day and I’d love to be strolling along the street there now, preferably in a world without COVID. I miss things from America’s east coast that I grew up with so I know what you mean, but we can’t complain, can we? πŸ™‚

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      • A neighbour has a plum coloured magnolia and I’m green with envy. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ No, complaining isn’t allowed. I phoned a UK friend this afternoon and was blasted when I suggested that things weren’t entirely perfect. We do live in a beautiful place!

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    • Ik ben blij, dank je, Rudi. Ik weet zeker dat je zult herstellen, maar een tijdje sprakeloos zijn kan een goede zaak zijn.​ (Thank you, google!)

      I’m glad, thank you, Rudi. I’m sure you will recover but being speechless for a little while can be a good thing. πŸ˜‰

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    • Thank you so much, Jutta, it’s great to hear from you! We could all use some beauty and I do try to go beyond the typical kinds of photographs. I hope all is well in your part of the world…please say Hi to Bertholdt, and Joe says Hi, too. πŸ™‚

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  2. You’ve made me realize the strangeness of the phrase fits and starts. I guess a fit is a de facto stop. And speaking of languageβ€”which takes language to doβ€”we call the coiled part of a fern a fiddlehead, but shouldn’t we rather call the scroll of a violin a fernhead, given that ferns preceded violins by millions of years? And one more: I used to imagine the name magnolia meant the tree had lots of oil. But no, the genus turns out to be a tribute to Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), who was a French botanist. And yet again: did you know that daffodil is an altered version of asphodel?

    My initial glance at this post, which revealed just the top picture, made me wonder if for once Washington was ahead of Texas in the springtime floral department. That’s at least plausible, given our rare sustained freeze last month. But then I saw from your title that you’re anticipating, too. Any thought of Carly Simon when you chose that title?

    That’s a nice abstract view of a swamp lantern in #25. Likewise for the native lilies in #13. Black and white proved to be a friend. Re #22: do you ever wish you could hide under a trillium petal? Re #20: are the rules of spring codified somewhere? #15 is a good example of flower on flower. Nature has no sense of personal space. The chocolate vine in #11 seems so pristine. Likewise the checkerboard lily in #10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once again, your comment is chock-full of goodies. I admit I hadn’t thought about fits and starts. It does describe the weather these days – maybe especially in your neck of the woods!! I agree with you about fernheads. Good to know about M. Magnol and daffodil derivation. Being of a certain age, there’s no way that the title “Anticipation” can be read without hearing Carly. πŸ™‚
      Swamp lanterns are yellow here – did you know that? I just read that the Asian version is white – it would be fun to grow all three together. When I wrote “the rules of spring” I was thinking of the Japanese priest/poet/philosopher Eihei Dogen, who wrote about spring in his Shobogenzo. It’s an extremely difficult text to grasp but when you catch a glimpse of what Dogen was transmitting, it’s like a breath of pure spring air.
      I like your observation that nature has no sense of personal space – or pandemic space! Thanks for your close attention, Steve, as always. Have a good weekend.

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    • That’s good to hear, Don, thank you very much. I think that was written when April felt more the way March feels now. When I was growing up May was my favorite month, but now it’s April. It seems that what I love about the season hasn’t changed, it just happens earlier now. Have a good day!

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  3. I enjoyed all these photos very much, thank you, Lynn.

    Image #3 was really quite remarkable – like a watercolour botanical print. #14 & #15 look very painterly too. Spring or not – I just love the wide variety of subjects and DOF in the close-ups.

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    • Thank you, Vicki! I feel there was a certain amount of luck involved with #3, and the garden where I took that picture is quite special. It’s good to hear that you appreciate the variety – that’s something I really look for – and blurred backgrounds in close-ups are somewhat of an obsession. Have a good weekend, spring, fall, whatever!! πŸ˜‰

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  4. This is all so beautiful! And it all still seems like another world, it’s still winter here in Wisconsin. But next week they’ve promised it’ll be 20 degrees warmer, I’ll go out to watch chunks of the glaciers break off and wave to the Eskimos as they head home. All the photos are fantastic, but #4 and #5 need a smile and shout out – – you obviously put just as much thought and feeling into them as the “picture perfect” scenes, but their happy randomness – the passing parade confetti and surprise collage you spotted – are just fun. πŸ™‚ And I love that you included the rectangles, mellow colors, and undulating lines of shingled rooftops in #12, and didn’t just zoom in on the cherry blossoms, like 99% of us probably would’ve. Well that’s why you’re the boss. And always get a kick out of the unfurling ferns, neat sense of latent energy, beautiful but also goofy-looking little aliens, aren’t they! Just got the vaccine shot, waiting to see if I’ll have the feverish feeling, but thanks for the booster shot of Spring, much nicer!

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    • It seems another world to me at this point, too. Are you exaggerating just a tad about the Eskimos though? πŸ™‚ I’m glad #4 & 5 appealed to you; happy randomness is something we all need more of. The view in #12 was from my 5th-floor apartment in an old building on Staten Island. It was a great view, with wonderful shingles. πŸ™‚ You’d love the building – high ceilings, wide halls, many closets, big windows…terribly hot in summer and cold in winter. Good to know you recognize who’s boss. Please talk to my partner and son, OK? The ferns are totally like little aliens – the energy is palpable, I just love them. Congrats on getting the shot! Your first? We just had our seconds and were wiped out the following day but the first shot didn’t bother either of us. Have a good weekend, stay warm, and thank you!

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  5. What a lovely and lively post Lynn. I can feel here that your heart beats for the flowers πŸ™‚ – do you say that too? – or your love for them. What a number of small and bigger beauties! And of course many nice pictures of plants and flowers in different situations. I love the leaves of the Hosta! They look like flames reaching to the sky, but nicer πŸ™‚ #1 wow!,2,3, 6, 10, 11 and 17 are so beautiful (I think my mother would love #17, she is a big fan of Cyclamen and your wildflower looks a bit like that). And I like the Magnolias. The bud is awesome, how the leaves are folded – I really love it! – and the white petals shimmering in the wind, so light and airy. I would like to make them out of paper right away ;-), but I know I can’t. They are too nice the way they are. It reminds me a bit of Origami! The checkerboard lily and the Chocolate vine look intriguing. So “perfect”, just fallen from the sky πŸ˜‰
    12 – I like this view over the old roofs, a fine set of geometry and nature, 14: wonderful, the note of spring in these light greens! The mosses, Leiden and and and….so nice! #16: I like the 3rd picture most with the woman and the bouquet in “movement”, so exhilarant πŸ™‚
    You let the flowers speak to us: the lightness, the airiness, the delicacy, the colors. With your pictures you lighten up our souls Lynn πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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    • Maybe you can show the shooting star photo to your mother – that would be good. I love cyclamens, too. Your thoughts about the Magnolia petals are interesting – like paper, like origami, yes! Do you have Magnolias in Hannover? When all the flowers fall off the sidewalks can be very messy – I remember slipping on them in one place in NY! The Chocolate vine is a popular garden plant in the US – maybe it’s grown in German gardens, too. And the little lily grows wild right here on Fidalgo Island! But it’s not as big and robust as the one in the photo, which was in a garden. #12 was the view out my window before I moved to the Pacific Northwest – it was wonderful! From another window, you could see NY Harbor with all the huge ships going back and forth with their little tugboats. The photo of the flower seller making a bouquet was rather lucky, OK, it was totally lucky! Thank you so much for taking the time to look, Almuth, and for lightening my soul with your comment. πŸ™‚

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      • I will show it to her. She will be delighted πŸ™‚ The Chocolate vine is really special. I think it reminds me of porcelain, the one in your photo. I looked for them and I think you can buy it here. It is so nice and grows a bit like Clematis right? – It must have been a nice time living not far from the harbour. So many things to watch. I am sure it was a special atmosphere. You needn’t TV then I suppose πŸ˜‰ Well, every place and time has its charm…

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  6. You’re making me feel spring!!! A beautiful array of photos. I don’t usually like picking faves, but I have to!!!!! 1, 3, and 13 are really spectacular.

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      • My intention for most of my macro photos is having most of a tiny subject in focus which first requires focus stacking gear, software and technique. Other intentions or visualizations require other techniques and equipment, e.g. an old 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar. Although your intentions are unknown to me the results move me to disagree that the photos in question are not the best technically, particularly for the middle image. You are skilled and gifted in using a camera to create art.

        Thoughts of photographers on classic lenses might be akin to those of violinists on instruments like those of Guarneri or Stradivari. Probably much is only in the mind, but I think much is not.

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  7. Beautiful arrangements of different plants. Especially Cypripedium Orchidee is very fascinating for me! But the real art is to show something familiar in a different guise, like the maple trees! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

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    • That orchid was growing at a special public garden put together by a man who explores the world for plants, Dan Hinkley. He’s an expert plantsman and the garden is beautiful. It’s very satisfying to show things in a different perspective, like the maple tree flowers – thank you so much for your comment.

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  8. A particularly beautiful collection enhanced by the sensitive use of colour, the appropriate choice of focal length in each case, and cropping that recognizes the vale of negative space.

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  9. Brilliant set; you had a good time; you and your flowers.. πŸ™‚ Nr1 is almost a love affair.. Good that you left one petal-point outside the frame; that focuses on the togetherness.. In Nr8 I like that there is a green fire going on.. But all of them are beauties! Keep shooting!

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    • I’ve had a good time with flowers since I was about two years old, Harrie. πŸ™‚ There’s an old photo of me with fat legs, barely able to walk, pointing at a tulip. It never ends, this obsession with flowers. You made a good point about #1. Almuth thought of fire too when she saw those leaves. πŸ™‚ Guess what – my trusty OM-D EM-1 finally died a few weeks ago. I just got a new Olympus, a Pen-F. It’s a just little smaller and lighter and has a few different features. It’s going to be interesting to learn to use it. Have a nice weekend, Harrie, and thanks. πŸ™‚

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  10. Beautiful choice because April, like May, is a beautiful month.
    I really enjoyed this colorful “trip to the future” and to know some species of extraordinary personality, such as those captured in photos 3, 10 and 11, for example. Nature is really a good sculptor!
    I wish you an excellent week … already smelling like spring!😊

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    • We both love May, I remember that. Over the years I have come to like April even more, but part of that is climate change, I think. Spring comes earlier. A trip to the future, yes – I thought it would be pleasant. The orchid in #3 was collected by a man who explores the world for unusual plants. I agree about sculpture and those are good examples. Nature makes so many forms to delight us! Happy spring to you – I think you must be ahead of us here but the cherry and plum trees are beginning to bloom so I am not complaining! Thank you, Dulce.

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  11. Fully immersed! All wonderful of course!
    But #3 such a rare exquisite beauty… definitely enticed.#4 I’ve always been drawn to (subtle) highlights in shadow.
    #14 these are so delicate and sweet, like their leaves (as opposed to the much bigger cousins we have here)I think we’re all good and ready for some more spring.Looks like my Camas lillies made it through the winter. Already an unopened flower has made an appearance! Yay!
    It’s getting closer.

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    • That orchid was at a very special garden on the Olympic Peninsula. Yes, we’re ready! How cool to see the Camas coming up! They grow wild in three of the parks here and I will be looking for them! Closer and closer… πŸ™‚

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  12. As our autumn gets under way here (it is very fallish after a wonderful hot spell), what a delight to bask in your super 16-year-spanning spring bouquet. Your #3 is my very favorite, but I also love your dogwoods, chololate vine, and daffs. And I absolutely love your shot over the Staten Island roofs.

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    • The fall weather must feel great after the heat. I’m glad this was a pleasure and not totally disorienting. πŸ˜‰ It’s really fun for me to see the “domestic” flowers in gardens, the city spaces, etc., for a change. I’m happy living in such a wild place but the human-built environment, including cultivars, sure has its charms. Thanks for stopping by, Gary.

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  13. Thank you for this burst of hopefulness. It seems more than ever this year I’m hanging out for spring and thrill to see snowdrops and crocuses telling me it’s on the way. Bring on April I say! Bring on summer!
    This is another beautiful collection. I so appreciate the way you’re able to have in perfect sharpness just one tiny part of the plant so that it’s highlighted in a way that would not otherwise be possible – all the photos like that are especially beautiful to me (7, 21, 28). Having said that I love #5 with it’s reflections and juxtapositions. And #1 and #17 are just plain gorgeous.
    Alison

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    • We need spring more than ever so why not anticipate it a little, right? The photos you singled out with shallow depth of field were all made with a great little macro lens – Olympus 60mm f2.8. It’s useless unless you have an Olympus or Panasonic m4/3 camera, but if you do it’s a great lens. I’m thrilled that you like #5, too – that one’s an odd mix. The shooting stars in #17 are spring wildflowers that are native to here and BC. Maybe you’ll get lucky and see them in person. (I just looked it up – Shooting stars have been seen in May on Kirkland Is. and near the Port Mellon Hwy south of Pt. Mellon – search Shooting star on inaturalist for locations) Here’s to snowdrops, crocuses, and all the rest!

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  14. Oh, boy!!!! I was just mentioning to someone about doing a 2020 favorites of flowers and now your post has really whetted my desire for spring bloomers. I’ve enjoyed the winter’s opportunities for abstract ice, some of which resembled flowers, but now you’ve got me desiring the real thing. It will be a few weeks before even fits and starts happen so the anticipation will build. These are all wonderful reminders of what floral beauty offers the human condition. Lovely stuff, Lynn, and thanks!

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    • Your ice photos have been so good, Steve. I appreciate that you stick with something and really take it to a new level, which you have done with many flowers, of course. There must be some kind of fits and starts happening in your area – a little witch hazel maybe? At least the longer days are promising. Today I went out and photographed a gorgeous wild cherry tree in full bloom, but it was barely in the mid-40s. Standing under a cherry tree in bloom should be a required annual activity for all humans in temperate zones. πŸ˜‰ Thank you, Steve, you’re very kind.

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  15. Joy, joy, joy! Such a pleasure to linger over every image, Lynn. Your close-ups are beautifully shot. Your opener, the dogwood, the checkerboard lily (amazing!), the unusual orchid, the ferns, and the monochromes…such a celebration of flowers and plants. The Amsterdam store window is interesting and I love the reflection of the tree in it. And the detailed Maple is so well composed within the background leaves. Pikes Market flower vendors bring back such fun memories of that frenetic place. A wonderful celebration of spring.

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    • Thank you, Jane, it does sound like you had a drink of April. You have to wonder why the Checkerboard lily evolved that pattern – it just seems counterintuitive somehow. πŸ™‚ The maple on the edge of a pond almost composed itself – how I used to love exploring that botanical garden on Staten Island! It was so refreshing after a hectic day of work in the city. πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post…hope all’s well with you et la famille. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! Photographing flowers is such a pleasure, I’m glad you enjoyed these. They are actually from a number of places – New York, Amsterdam, and different gardens around Seattle. April is a wonderful month in the northern hemisphere, isn’t it?

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  16. Your post brought a smile to my face Lynn! I so enjoyed seeing all the spring blooms and your wonderful compositions. My top favorite is #10, the checkerboard lily … so unusual and a beautiful composition too. I like the way the stem bends to fit the frame. Other standouts were #4 … the delicate blooms on top of the rough concrete is a nice contrast in textures. I love #12, the roof tops too. They seemed layered in a pleasing collection. And, I also really like #28, the apple blossom … the composition and depth of field is perfect! Great post Lynn!

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    • Oops! Where’s that reply go? Sorry, Denise! Does the stem of the Checkerboard lily bend to fit the frame, or did the frame turn to fit the stem? πŸ˜‰ No matter, they are interesting flowers, and a few even grow wild around here. It’s nice to hear you liked the fallen blossoms on the sidewalk, a quick snap on a walk on our last day in Europe, so there’s sentimental value attached to that one…and to the rooftops, a view I enjoyed for six years. Oh, I love flowers so much! I’m happy that you enjoyed the photographs, thank you!

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  17. Pingback: ANTICIPATION 🀩🀩🀩 – audreysu

    • We’re inundated with images here on the internet and it looks like you came back, maybe without realizing it, which I can completely understand. The good thing is that you enjoyed it again! Now that April is actually here and not just a dream, you can bet that I’m outside a lot, photographing more flowers. I know that even if the flowers aren’t blooming in E’town, you have plenty of inspiration coming out of that Hedy-head! πŸ˜‰

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      • Went to help out our daughter πŸ€“ and yes now I’m back in etown…enjoy the beauty and yes spring is coming even here 🌱 albeit it slow…tiny buds…no flowers so keep showing them 🌷☺️

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