Sunday, April 14, 2019

Spring Colors

I have the most remarkable palette of colors among the photos in my camera right now, of things I've photographed this week. First there was a peach orchard along a road near Hammonton, NJ. Click to enlarge.
Then a "blue hole" at Winslow, New Jersey, a tropical-looking lake in a abandoned quarry fringed with pines.
Then I picked a bowl of fresh spring violets.
And made jelly with them!

Lovely colors, aren't they? Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote this about spring:

Everything is blooming most recklessly; If it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. 


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Onion Mystery Solved

I was planting wildflower seedlings outside and I kept smelling onions. I looked around for onion grass, you know, those clumps of slender hollow green stems that grow everywhere and smell like onions when you step on them? Found none. There were just some simple pale lavender flowers like the one above. I didn't recognize this flower, but was able to identify it as a spring starflower, Ipheion uniflorum. Click to enlarge.
Guess what made the identification easy -- the grassy leaves of spring starflowers smell like onions when crushed.
So I'm adding this to the list of flowers I know. I read that spring starflowers are native to Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile, but planted here as ornamentals. The ones around my place seem to have become established in the grass. They are short lived and will be gone by summer.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Swan of a Different Color

I'd call this a purple-billed black swan. Lovely isn't it?
April Fool! I made it up! It's a normal black swan with a normal red bill like in this photo. I painted it purple in Photoshop. Be warned that tomorrow is April 1st, April Fool's Day.       Be on the lookout for more silly pranks!
 Here are some awful swan jokes suited to the holiday: 

Where do swans invest their cash? 
In the stork market! 

Why don't swans grow up?
Because they grow down! 

Do you know why swans stay home on winter days?
Fowl weather!

What do swans watch on TV? 

A skunk, a herd of mostly female deer, and a swan go out to eat. When it comes time to pay the skunk only has a scent, the deer just have one buck. They end up putting it on the swan's bill!  

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Flowers and A Turkey

I went for a walk on Saturday to look for signs of spring. It was too easy! There are flowers blooming like crazy out there.
So many colors of crocus. Click to enlarge.
Then I turned a corner and saw this...
A turkey! A big tom turkey all puffed up and ready to breed! He was gobbling and strutting like he was the king of all the turkeys. I was as impressed as I was surprised.
I've seen turkeys in New Jersey before, where they are becoming common, and I've written a couple of blogs about them (click here for one, here for another). But I usually spot them out of breeding season when they large but not too flashy, like in the photo above. 
But this guy was dressed to kill! Here's his other side.
Here's his amazing head. The turkey sighting drove all my thoughts of spring flowers right out of mind and turned this into a turkey blog. You have just been turkey bombed!
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Winter's End

Crocus flowers are open in my neighborhood!

 "The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size."
                                                                                          Gertrude S. Wister 

Spring starts on Wednesday, March 20! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Tree

I was minding my own business, taking a walk in the woods, and I saw this tree.
Here's a closer view. There's a letter A there, right? I'm pretty sure it grew naturally on this tree's flaky plate-like bark. The tree is in a swampy place and would have been difficult to get to, climb, and initial. So I'm just saying, hmm.
Is this just puzzling?
Or is it scary? Click to enlarge. Sorry about the lost hour of sleep.