April 28, 2018

Cloudy, 37 Degrees, North Wind 15 mph.

This is my first time walking in the woods for almost a week now and things are changing fast. We’ve had warm, sunny weather with afternoon temperatures in the 60s, so the plants are maturing quickly. Everywhere I look, tiny leaves are emerging, and tiny blooms are often mixed in with them.

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I don’t know what any of these plants are, but the variety is amazing. 

The day itself is not the nicest. It’s gray, with low scudding clouds, and the North wind makes the temperature feel like it’s in the twenties. Still, it is not harsh outside and walking without gloves is no problem.

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Jamie is over the top excited to get out. While I have been laid up with my back injury he has been stuck in the house and laying around in the back yard. He’s extra energetic on the way out to the woods, pulling at the leash and wanting to sniff at and pee on everything in our path. It’s a little irritating to me, so I pull at him a couple of times to move him along. I know it’s not fair, but I have things to do today and I don’t have time for him to investigate everything he wants.

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Some plants seem to be sprouting only leaves. 

My back had a fairly miraculous recovery yesterday. I woke up in significant pain, but I made an effort to take a short walk with Jamie in the afternoon and it felt okay. If I stopped to stretch my left hip, the pain would abate briefly before returning. I started to feel like I had aggravated an old injury and maybe just needed more stretching.

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Feeling a little optimistic, I started doing some painting in the living room and, by some miracle, the more I stretched my hip by bending and crouching and crawling along on my knees, the better my back felt.

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By the time I finished a couple of hours of light work, I felt almost 100%. I skipped a dose of pain killers and still felt okay. I’ll continue with the anti-inflammatory for a few more days, but right now I’m on no pain medication and I feel fine. What a relief after days of pain and no ability to either walk or paint.

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Other plants are flowering, with many other buds yet to open. 

In the woods, I used the 70 – 200mm lens with an extension tube to focus on the tiny details of leaves and flowers that are coming out everywhere. You still see only a hint of green from a distance, and only in specific places, but if you loo close enough, many things are either leafing out or are close to it. A few trees I passed had clusters of leaves with flowers poking out in between.

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These look almost like fruit, but I think they will be flowers. 

I tried to photograph as many of these things as possible. It fascinates me what is coming out of the little buds I’ve been photographing for weeks now. In some cases the buds yield flowers, in others, leaves appear and in others yet both leaves and flower parts are emerging.

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I’ll be getting an education in botany this spring. It would be nice to have an expert along to explain some of these things to me. All I know is what I remember from High School biology class.

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You can see the flowers inside these buds, waiting to open. 

I spent so much time shooting all these little things that I didn’t want to take time to shoot the Magnolia again, or the Maples in my yard. I’ll shoot them briefly later on. The Magnolia is close to full flower. A few buds are almost open, while many more are a little behind. You’ll be seeing lots of them over the next few days, but I’m more interested in the more natural world of the woods.

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It feels good to be back in the saddle again, walking and writing. I still have a ton of painting work to do in the house, so I’ll be very busy for a week or more. Once the painting is done, I am installing recessed lighting in the ceiling. I’ll also be painting several pieces of furniture, each of them in multiple colors, so they will take some time to do.

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It’s exciting to see the house be transformed, but I have a way to go before that’s accomplished.

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The Honeysuckles are just starting to bloom. 

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