Monday, March 22, 2010

Signs of Spring

It seems that everywhere I look these days people are writing about, photographing, or talking about Spring, at least if you live in the Northern Hemisphere anyway.  Spring and Summer are my two favorite seasons.  I love being able to throw open the windows, catch lightning bugs, walk barefoot through the grass, or simply sit outside and enjoy the chirping of crickets or the croaking frogs.

Each year, while other people are enjoying winter sports such as ice skating and skiing, I'm surfing the net or the horizon for any sign of springtime and warm weather.  I've always been a warm weather kind of person, the hotter the better.  I don't mind humidity, hot pavement, or having my electric bill go sky high because of  the need to run the air conditioner full blast.

This past weekend was our first real taste of the warm weather to come.  It was nearly 75 degrees with clear sunny skies, and I was loving every minute of it.  I threw open windows in every room of the house, cranked open the sunroof on my car, and put on a short sleeve shirt.   This is my kind of weather, when everything that's been sleepy and hibernating are raring and ready to go again!

I decided to make hay while the sun was shining and went outside to take a few pictures.  Because I know that if there is one thing you can count on about Maryland weather, it's that those first few warms days will not last for long.  The cold winds and rain of springtime will come rushing back, just when you thought it was safe to pack up all of your sweaters and galoshes.  Today it poured down rain and we had thunder and lightning to go along with the wind and water.  So I'm glad I enjoyed the sunshine and took advantage of the picture taking opportunity when I could.

Where we live now the seasons aren't marked so much by the weather or what is in bloom, but more so by what wildlife is here on the property.  The arrival of Canada Geese marks the arrival of Fall each year, the swans mean that Winter is in full swing, and the return of the Osprey is a sure sign that springtime is upon us.

Each year when the osprey return I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand I'm happy to see any sign of spring, but on the other hand I know it means they will be staking their claim to the big dead tree in our backyard.  It's their nest that rests way up high in the branches of the huge old dead tree and so they quickly invite the eagles to find other perches to fish from until the osprey leave in October.  Although the eagles are much larger birds of prey, they are woefully outnumbered by the very pushy osprey and quickly move on to avoid the aggravation.  There have already been a few sparing matches the last few days between these two majestic species, but in the end numbers win out and the eagles move on.

I also saw these on the creek this weekend, another sure sign that warmer weather is on it's way!

While I was out enjoying the weather, I decided to try some of the settings on my camera.  Ever since I've been taking pictures for my blog, I have this strong desire to really play around with my camera and the myriad of settings you can use.  I'm sure to the trained professional's eye these are really bad photos, but even Ansel Adams had to start somewhere!

I may not know anything about shutter speeds or apertures but I do know that I see the world through different eyes now that I've started becoming more interested in photography.

Simple things like an old dead tree

With thousands of woodpecker holes

Or gnarled bark have become art for me.

And grass, sprouting through an old chunk of brick

Part of someone else's pier which has washed ashore

Or the old rusted hinge on a bird feeder have all become things of beauty in my eyes.

Maybe it's just that I'm aging, slowing down ever so gradually and taking the time to savor all that is around me and the changing seasons of my own life in relation to the changing seasons of nature.  Whatever the cause, I'm enjoying the affect.  If it means I can embrace all the beauty that surrounds me, even in the smallest and simplest of things, I like it.  Amidst the chaos of our lives, I hope each of you are able to stop, for just a moment wherever you are right now, to enjoy the simple beauty that surrounds you.

Don't forget, there is still time to enter my current HERE to find out more! 

It's time for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.


  1. We have bluebirds nesting in our bluebird box!

  2. I think your photography is great. Love the osprey photos and your walk around your beautiful property. Cold and raining here today and yesterday, but Saturday was gorgeous. Snow even in north Georgia mountains today. Mother nature is a bit confused.

  3. Lovely photos...I especially enjoyed seeing the ospreys up close!

  4. Wow! What beautiful pictures! I read a story once of a photographer who was traveling in a foreign country, taking close-up pictures of flowers in a field. The Shepherd who had sheep following him stopped to see what he was doing. The photographer showed him the pictures he was taking of the small flowers the shepherd walked on every day, so small he had never noticed them. He had always thought them nothing but weeds. It made a profound difference in the way the Shepherd looked at his world. You've caught that thought very well by these pictures you've that bark on the tree!!!
    Hugs, Doni

  5. GREAT pictures! And you're much braver than I! I've only used one setting on my camera (the no flash setting). All the other options just frighten me!
    ; ) Trina

  6. Kat,
    Beautiful pics...luv the OSPREY pic...our beach house was located on OSPREY Ct.! I'm so happy that SPRING is here:)


  7. Great photos!...and I am Sooooo ready to get back in the kayak again.

  8. Wonderful photos! The osprey is especially nice!

  9. Love all of your photos of the winter blanket being thrown off and spring arriving! It is amazing how you see things differently once you become interested in photography. Your shots of the osprey are just beautiful! And I love the shot of the grass shoots in the old brick. Kathy

  10. I can't get enough Spring pictures. You always have amazing bird photos!

  11. I just love to see the wildlife pics. They are so magical. Being so close the the water must bring them. It is very precious to have the time free to go out and photograph. Savor it. And thanks for stopping by to see my poor trees. -- Jane F

  12. Beautiful nature shots! I love photography and my digital camera!!

  13. Oh Kat I love your photography! And you were able to put so well into words how I feel too about aging and noticing the everyday beauty in our surroundings. The close up shots of that ospry are really something. Very impressive Kat! ~Lili

  14. Love your photos here, especially the osprey. I'm loving, too, that you're getting into photography. I still haven't figured out my camera. It's a work in progress.

  15. We have been having warm temps here in Northern California and I was outside in a heartbeat to plant some flowers. I stop to notice nature all the time and just today was noticing the buds coming back on the trees. Today a little tree frog stopped to hitch a ride on the back of a tall stone bunny I have on the front porch (must have been working on its tan ;)

    Your photos are wonderful. I love birding. Every night at 5pm the Canada geese fly over my house from the pond nearby and back in the morning like clockwork. Yes, I am quite the nature nerd :D
    Jane T.

  16. I love your photos, especially the amazing bird ones you take. I have often seen osprey nests but didn't really know what they looked like, so thanks for posting.

  17. Your photos are beautiful - the ospreys are amazing! Leigh

  18. It's wonderful to see spring has come along so far where you are! We are a little bit behind. :)

    Love the photos of the osprey. I have never gotten that close...but maybe this year. Apparently they return to my part of Ontario around April 3 every year so I don't need to wait much longer.

  19. What fabulous photos! Great shots of the osprey. Great close up of the gnraled bark. I have so much fun with my camera and I carry with me all the time. I am hoping to one day soon graduate from my little point and shoot. It is a sweet little camera, but I cannot get good close ups and would really love to have a macro lens.

    ~ Tracy

  20. great images... that bird is beautiful and the wood close ups are very nice!


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