May 6, 2018

Sunny, 60 Degrees, Calm Winds.

It’s another absolutely gorgeous spring morning today and I remain saddled to a bed or a couch. The pain in my back and leg continues unabated. Despite resting all weekend, much of it lying in bed, I feel no better. I can stand for only about fifteen or twenty seconds before searing pain makes me hobble for some kind of seat, where the pain will slowly subside back to a nagging discomfort.

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An astonishing amount of growth has happened in no time at all. These were just fuzzy little bumps a week or two ago. 

I still have numbness down the front of my left lower leg and weakness in my left quadriceps indicating, I suppose, that the nerve that’s being pinched is the one that directs these areas. I am sorry to be writing so much about this injury, but it is completely dominating my life and I have to recognize it.

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All of the little flowers on this Maple are now becoming winged seeds. Leaves are bursting out as well. 

I am out of all my medicines—the steroids, muscle relaxers, and pain pills. I am beyond hoping that this injury will resolve itself without further intervention. Sometimes, once the body becomes as seriously inflamed as my back is now, it just remains that way until a bigger intervention is made. I expect that physical therapy will be necessary at this point. The pills aren’t going to do it.

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This tree will produce an astonishing amount of seeds. 

But enough of back pain for the moment. Let me change topics to my other point of agony, which is the progress of spring that is happening while I am unable to walk or photograph. Yesterday, my wife took me out for a short drive in the afternoon. I was shocked to see so much green in the trees and bushes. The grass is bright green now and everything is either blooming or leafing out.

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Our Dogwood is also beginning to bloom. 

Things may still be pretty thin, but they are changing fast. If this injury persists for more than a few more days, I will miss the entire transition to spring. That is breaking my heart. I have been so committed to my project of documenting the progress of a year, and that is being taken away from me. It is absolutely tearing me apart. I will be so sad and hurt if I miss the transition I have been waiting for for what seems like forever.

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Some of the Magnolia buds, like this one, don’t seem to have bloomed. 

It seems that memory of spring appearing suddenly is accurate. It’s taken a long time to get here, but once the warm weather arrived and we got some rain, things are just exploding. It is my favorite time of the year, and I’m stuck inside in pain.

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I love the highly complex forms of these flowers. 

This morning, as my wife took Jamie for his walk, something I miss terribly I must say, I decided that I had to try getting outside to photograph at least the trees in my yard. I’ve had luck before where I felt better after exerting myself, so I hoped that might happen again.

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Leaves are bursting out all over the place. 

I got my camera together and headed out to the Magnolia. The blooms are fading and falling apart and leaves are coming out as they do. I shot several pictures of these details, the moved to the ornamental trees in our front yard. They have gone from small buds to open blooms in the space of the last week or so. The blooms are lovely, as you’ll see from today’s photos.

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This is our Lavender bush. There were no leaves here two weeks ago. 

After shooting a few clusters of their flowers, I moved over to the Maple in my neighbor’s side yard. I’ve been shooting this tree steadily this year so I was really pleased to see that although it’s changed a lot, you can still see the connection to what was there when I last shot. Since then, the blooms have changed to the beginning of seeds, each one dangling on a long stem. Leaves are also poking out at the ends of the branches.

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These are lovely little flowers. The trees are covered with them. 

It’s so cool to see this. I’ve never actually observed exactly how this sequence of bloom to seed to leaves happens. Now I know. I’ve missed a few steps along the way, but you can at least see the sequence.

I also shot a Maple tree in our back yard, which seems to follow a different pattern. I think this Maple is forming leaves rather than seeds. I have to look at my pictures again to see how this tree has progressed. I do know that there are Maples that form and drop their seeds in the fall. My neighbor’s seems to make them in the spring, which is interesting.

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Another Maple tree sprouts seeds and leaves. 

I also shoot a couple of trees in front of my other neighbor’s house. One is a Buckeye, or so he tells me. It looks a lot like a Chestnut, both in the flowers and the nuts it produces. The big stalks of blooms have already taken shape and clusters of leaves are emerging at their bases. It’s shocking that all of this has happened in the last week or ten days.

I am thrilled to be getting these pictures. It’s a terrible shame I can’t walk my woods and record every single little change that’s happening. It truly pains me deeply, but at least I can document what’s happening in my own front yard. It’s something, even if it’s not what I want.

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This is a Buckeye tree. Just a single bud yields all of these leaves and the huge flower. 

The new leaves and the sprays of flowers are lovely to see after photographing so much dull gray and brown. It’s really refreshing to see.

I am sure that the view across the marsh will have changed a lot since I was there last. I suspect that the marsh will have been turning green and maybe even the trees in the background will have changed. The main woods themselves are probably still showing very little green, but I just can’t miss being there as the leaves come out. The brush is probably turning quite green already, and the dull brown leaf litter is probably turning green in at least some places.

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This Maple has a single bud that yields multiple leaves and a flower that will yield seeds. Amazing what nature comes up with!

Back in my yard, I’m in excruciating pain as I’m taking my pictures. I grimmace and bend over to try to stretch my back, but it relieves the pain only briefly. I hobble from tree to tree and grit my teeth as I take my pictures. I can only stay out for maybe ten or fifteen minutes. It’s all I can take.

I will download pictures and try to get them edited for this post later today. I really want to get this beauty into the blog. It’s been a barren place with me unable to take pictures for days at a time.

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