fresh this morning...brand-new strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus) foliage
"Behold: all things are become new..."
-- 2 Corinthians 5:17
Spring came creeping in over the Mardi Gras weekend, meek, mild, and inspirational as ever. Living back in the Bayou Vermilion floodplain, I couldn't help but note the contrast between our garish celebration – round numbah 12,032 [or thereabouts] in our own perpetual search for self-validation – versus Spring's brand of celebration, which by its mere presence, becomes validation for all things, including us po' humans.
back porch view: wild geranium, oxalis, rain lily, , spiderwort, bedstraw carpet
below; freshly-expanding leaves of deciduous holly, rough-leaf dogwood, and elderberry above.
you can't see the seed feeders very well (against the smaller of Lydia's old rehab pens), but an older male Chipping Sparrow stubbornly remained there -- refusing to abandon his breakfast buffet -- hotly "chipping" his protest as i approached to within 15' to take this picture.
Here in the low woodlands, the arrival of Spring 2012 has brought its usual sachel of pleasantly-lukewarm temperatures, days-in-a-row of rains or threats of rains, along with the resultant clouds of mosquitoes, the evil carpenter bee, the fantastically-fresh flowers of the early-spring bloomers, and today, the promising apprearance of the first new leaves of our deciduous plants. Soon, the hollow-echoing sound of winter will be replaced with the gently-muffled softness of spring. Heck, cardinals, chickadees, titmice, wrens, mockingbirds – even hawks – are hollering their lungs out for hours a day.
rain lily blooms sneak thru a chubby clump of spiderwort garlanded with bedstraw
the venerable old Cherrylaurel (almond-scented leaves!), fronted by
'Old Blush' the first antique rose variety brought in to the U.S. (ca. 1750)
The blooms of local early-spring plants, yes, we wait for those; but it is the unfurling of the first leaves of the year that really raise the hairs on the back of my neck, you know? The sudden near-wall-to-wall appearance of vibrant yet somehow soft hues of green, along with their accompanying textures, is almost startling. As of this morning, numerous local trees are now leafing out: pawpaw, red buckeye, sweetgum, black willow, deciduous holly, rough-leaf dogwood, and strawberry bush.
The sounds of the birds and the long lost buzzing of flying insects echo through the warmish moisture-laden air. It's all almost too much to take in. Almost.
The pictured rain lily species is Zephranthes candida (aka "zephyrlily"), a South American native which has naturalized around Louisiana a good bit. Other natives currently in bloom include mayhaw (Crataegus opaca/aestivalis), blue phlox (Phlox divarcata), dewberry (Rubus trivialis), and little-leaf viburnum (V. obovatum).
little-leaf viburnum is a wetland species; this one is some sort of
dwarf cultivar (can't remember its name)
Spring down here along the Gulf Rim is hard to beat. Within a couple of weeks, you'll have to almost get out of the way as the bird, bug, and bloom/foliage parade picks up steam. As we say here in Cajunland, "Get out and get you some!"