Yesterday, walking in Galiano’s Heritage Forest, my eye was drawn to the shapes of the trees— the shapes that will soon be hidden by the profusion of leaves.
Mixed with the evergreens are are are several willow trees of varying kinds, along the main path. They’ve been there, as their size indicates, for years and years, but it wasn’t til yesterday that the light caught them in a certain way, and I ’noticed’ them. They are, to me, absolutely beautiful— the stature of the tree as a whole, and the detail of the slender curves…
Maybe because we’ve waited so long for spring this year, or maybe its just that these wonders are more precious with each passing year, but surely the delicate beauty of the huckleberry buds opening has never been quite so breathtakingly beautiful to me.
Though the afternoon had been drizzly and the days fairly cool, the camellia doesn’t seem to mind. She’s blooming, determined spring is really arriving. I cut some and arranged them in the old white milk jug, and set them on the dining table. The next morning the sun was up before I was so I was greeted with this glimpse of beauty sunlit beauty.
Photo Notes: this piece is adapted from my original RAW photo using Lightroom and Topaz Impression.
As I’ve watched the daffodils bud and come to blossom this spring I’ve noticed what they do just before they open their colourful blossoms and display their full glory: they bow their heads, as in humility.
Maybe because this week is Holy Week, ( the week in the Christian year between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, leading to the great feast of Easter) this detail of their downward movement has struck me. For this is what we see — the glory of God mostly clearly, fully displayed in the humility of Jesus who, “… though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. (see Philippians 2:5ff).
For more reflections on Holy Week, you can check out my ‘Lection Section’ Blog here.
In the course of the day’s demands, which today included the simple task of having a brake light replaced on my car, we found ourselves walking in a neighbourhood we hadn’t explored before. The repair folk needed us to leave the car with them for a while, so off we set to explore the neighbourhood around the car dealership. What an unexpected treat. The streets were quiet— almost deserted— and spring gardens were burgeoning with blossoms: japonica, forsythia, hyacinths, daffodils, pansies, flowering trees in full bloom including magnolias and cherries. So much colour. So much design and care and beauty.
The clematis that was climbing tenaciously up the supports of a carport, adorning an otherwise unassuming piece of architecture, was just one of the many strikingly beautiful treats on our walk.
And now my brake light is replaced! (bonus!)
Since I wanted to draw attention to the clematis itself, I’ve adjusted this iPhone photo using Photoshop for layers and masks, and Topaz Impression to add the desaturated / textured/ drawing effect on the perimeter of the photo.
The pure clear face of this camelia — its serene perfection with a backdrop of relative dark disorder was similarly captivating for me— its creamy petals, in regular geometric pattern signalling a gracious presence even amidst the chaos. Beholding this gentle beauty almost grants the kind of serenity it embodies. And just as fleetingly, for the camelia blooms last only a very brief time before fading and falling.
This is an iPhone photo, as it was one of those moments on a dog-walk when a sight cries out to be captured. I’ve added some layers of texture to the background to emphasize the clarity of the blossom itself.
Finlay Lake Conservation Area – Click on image for a larger view
We’d wanted to walk in to Finlay Lake for a while, so with the sun shining brilliantly, it seemed a good day to set out for this quiet spot.
The path leading through the forest was bursting with spring shoots, and the birds were singing in the canopy above us, and the winter wrens and towhees rustling in the ferns and salal.
When the path opened to the lake there were a few Buffleheads on the far side, but otherwise all was still. Occasionally a raven’s call echoed through the trees, and an eagle flew past. Otherwise, simply stillness— but a stillness that is burgeoning with life.
Even now there are signals of spring round about us— even now while its so chilly in the morning, the fog is thick and the ships’ whistles are sounding all day as they move cautiously in the severely limited visibility.
Though its only late January, the sun is setting noticeably later, affording us more daylight and signalling to shrubs and bulbs and birds that spring is on its way. We could of course, still have some very cold weather ahead, but the bulbs are bravely pushing up through the ground in the certainty of spring’s arrival. The snowdrops and crocuses are even beginning to bloom in sheltered spots.
Much to my delight yesterday, I came across a small cluster of miniature irises glowing in the sunshine— cerulean blue with golden centres— glistening with droplets of moisture from the temporarily vanished fog.