On and Over the Hills

"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle

Stoop and See the Flowers

Thirty metres below the raven, krawking from the wind-battered tips of lofty lodgepole pine, lies a world in miniature. Once the snow disappears, to the distracted mind focused at eye-level, the forest floor is a mottled shag of rusty needles and diminutive greenery. A red squirrel might chatter a warning from a scruffy branch as you pass beneath, while an invisible Northern flicker commands attention with his most fetching love song in the distance. Listen!

Sun has warmed the sap flowing up through the conifers and thawed the earth below, releasing the tender scents of spring.  It is impossible to resist the impulse to close your eyes and fill your body with the redolence of buds swelling into new life and the pungent perfume of last summer’s foliage, ever so slowly transforming into nourishing loam.

Sink now onto a mound of feathery evergreen moss, just beginning to sprout tendrils of new growth and from your new vantage point, look around.

Coyly raising its face from the crisp carpet through which it has recently emerged, the ruffled petals of the kidney-leaved violet barely reach beyond their circlet of dew-catching leaves.

Violets herald the spring. Rhizomes spread the blossoms discreetly among emerging later-blooming forbs; their vibrant faces are confirmation of the promise of summer. The bog violet's rich blue is a true gem among the leaf litter.

In the rich loam collected by a fallen sentinel, a thick carpet of soft, lacy green nearly conceals the delicate cluster of miniscule flowers on the rare, musky-scented moschatel.

The buds of the lingonberry glow from the tips of lilliputian evergreen boughs, bringing the first pink to the woods.

In the moist ravine, flamboyant yellow anemones sparkle above still brown, snow-flattened ground.

The iconic fuzz of the pussy willow catkin has blossomed into an explosive array of alluring pollen-rich bristles.

An inflorescence of minute flowers cloaks a pendulant green-alder catkin.

My once 20-20 vision, now aided by reading and magnifying glasses, is challenged to take in the unfolding of spring’s miniature world of wonder. Each gem that I find, though, feels like a monumental discovery and I want to show the world. Without a macro lens, my skills are also challenged in capturing these constantly changing gems to share. But I implore the reader to look down; to get down; to see the abundance, the rich variety of minute miracles underfoot by the path. Take a child in hand and together be the explorers; be the discoverers. Richness is all around. It is good for the soul.

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22 comments on “Stoop and See the Flowers

  1. pixilated2
    June 4, 2011

    Beautiful as always. Your language gets richer each time you write. Diminutive. Who uses that word in these times? Yet it perfectly defines your subject. Your lack of a macro lens does not detract from the beauty you have described for us. I think we might picture it even without the photographs! ~ Lynda

    • missusk76
      June 5, 2011

      Thank you Lynda. I do love words and I really appreciate yours.

  2. Bob Zeller
    June 4, 2011

    I can only echo Lynda’s words. Another beautifully written and photographed gem.

    Bob

  3. Michael Mills
    June 4, 2011

    A lovely warm place is this, no matter the season – beautiful flowers, photos & sentiments.

    • missusk76
      June 5, 2011

      Hi Michael. I am delighted that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading and leaving such a nice compliment.

  4. photosbymartina
    June 5, 2011

    I love taking a walk through the woods with you, you can identify what you see. An education indeed. A journey for the little people who live in all of us.

    • missusk76
      June 8, 2011

      Thank you Martina. I don’t post them till I’m 90% sure of their identity. It’s one of my ambitions to know my place intimately. That said, however, I am happy to be corrected – the better to learn. I do imagine the little people and how much better they would be able to see these sweet beauties.

  5. Sybil
    June 6, 2011

    I feel like the child and and you are gently taking us all by the hand and sharing your knowledge and sense of wonder.

    • missusk76
      June 8, 2011

      It does feel great to be able to share what I find. I’m gratified that your feel my ‘sense of wonder’. Thank you, Sybil.

  6. Rose
    June 6, 2011

    Such beautiful and delicate photos, so much magic in these God’s creations. Loved this!

    • missusk76
      June 8, 2011

      It truly does feel like magic that so soon after the snow is gone the earth springs to life like this. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it Rose.

  7. lynnekovan
    June 9, 2011

    Lovely post. I’ve just found your blog via Sybil’s comments, and am so glad to have done so! The season seems late in coming for you. Here in the UK we are deep into summer, with summer solstice in a couple of weeks. I’d better get ready for this, as I’m moving to Nova Scotia next year!
    Love your carefully thought through words. Makes me feel like I’m absolutely with you! I shall be back for more.

    • missusk76
      June 10, 2011

      It’s true our summer is very short. The solstice marks the beginning rather than midsummer; as the days get shorter we see the filling out of the undergrowth in the forest. One doesn’t want to miss a day, since by September everything is ripening and showing signs of frost.

      Thank you for coming by and for your kind words. I’m off to work now, but looking forward to having a look at your blog when I have more time.

  8. julianhoffman
    June 9, 2011

    “Richness is all around” – and so it begins again. That spring unfurling, that simmering of colours. Thanks for the wonderful tour of the “world in miniature” Cindy. A delight as always….

    • missusk76
      June 10, 2011

      You are welcome, Julian! I’m so glad you liked it. I only wish I had more time to spend on the walking, the photography and the writing. It’s very gratifying to share.

  9. Jim Rook
    June 13, 2011

    Once again, your photos and words carry us right along with you during your walk. Another very enjoyable walk Cindy. Also will relay to you that you’ve gained another follower this evening. I was showing Susan your pictures and reading your prose. Needless to say, she was hooked and requested the link. Thanks again for sharing your gifts.

    • missusk76
      June 19, 2011

      Thank you, Jim and please thank Susan for me. It’s so good to know that folks are enjoying something that I enjoy sharing so much.

  10. lynnwiles
    June 16, 2011

    Your invitation was received before I read it. It’s amazing how many flowers are there when one really looks – now if I could figure out their names as you have. And I must say that ligonberries are so tasty.

    • missusk76
      June 19, 2011

      Identifying the local flora has been a hobby of mine for some years now. I still can’t tell you everything that it here by any means, especially since I forget about half of what I know during each winter, but it seems to bring a deeper feeling of intimacy when I learn about each plant. It’s rather like the difference between having an acquaintance and a good friend. When a good friend asks you how you are, they really want to know the answer.

  11. Shelly
    July 22, 2011

    As usual, a lovely lyrical post. The first signs of the spring/summer seasons are so refreshing – I enjoyed “walking” with you and “discovering” those all over again.

    • missusk76
      July 22, 2011

      Refreshing, indeed. I’m delighted you enjoyed the outing.

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2011 by in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , .
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