Spring Has Sprung: Easter and April Fool’s Day in Albuquerque, 2018
Spring has sprung in Albuquerque! Although the sky was overcast most of the day, the temperature was pleasant and no wind was blowing.
The dwarf peach ‘Bonanza’ had begun to bloom when we got a hard freeze. I was afraid no peaches would form this year. And, for a variety of reasons, I had not photographed the tree at the height of its bloom. But, one bloom was left today. An extra bonus was that I could see one or two peaches were just beginning to develop!
Although the flowering Bradford pear trees around town have bloomed out, the pear trees in my yard have just begun to bloom. Some of you may remember that I have a pollinator pear that produces fruit the birds love. The smaller tree produces pears that people love.
Pansies and crocus (the crocus from a couple of weeks ago) round out today’s spring offerings.
Finally, I hope you have had a wonderful day wherever you are!
First crocus of spring means true Spring is not far away. A harbinger of Spring…
Leaf buds are already swelling on the roses. Peach buds are swelling. Weeds are already popping up. 🙂 Longer daylight is also clearly here. The crocus is small and will be short lived. But its bright color announces it presence without question and portends a colorful season ahead.
Spring garden – on a beautiful Albuquerque day like today being out in the garden is always pleasant. Today was an especially pleasant and interesting spring day. Friend and fellow photographer Tim Price, whom many of you know from his blog, TandL Photos, took me to an early morning appointment with the eye doctor. We then came back to the house and sat out on the patio, just enjoying the day, catching up on life, and looking for beautiful and interesting things to photograph.
This is the first part of a two part “tandem blog.” The second part is here, “Lizard Love.”
Signs of spring are popping up and out everywhere. Here in the high desert, we could still experience winter, of course. But the days that speak of Spring are so glorious. I like the Ernest Hemingway quote:
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.”
This may be false spring, or, given climate change, may be the beginning of real spring. I’m going to enjoy these early signs.
The bright little crocus are one of the earliest, easily spotted, harbingers of Spring.
But, there are numerous, though subtle, signs that Spring is on the way.
Rose ‘Buffalo Gal,” a hybrid rugosa, beginning to leaf out.
This developing birch catkin says, “Spring is on the way.”
Rosemary is known for the flavor it adds to food more than delicate blue flowers, but the flowers are pretty.
A dwarf peach, “Bonanza,” is one of my favorite specimen plants. I was surprised to see this little bud beginning to show just a touch a color. It really is too early, but it does speak to the hope of Spring.
I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather wherever you are.
Spring will eventually come. Although it may not seem like it this weekend, with the record-breaking blizzard on the East Coast, warm bright days with green trees and flowers are ahead. Here in New Mexico, the winter, so far, has not been bad, although who knows what will happen over the next couple of months. The increasing daylight hours can already be seen and felt.
In the fall of 2015, when I was introduced to the Persephone myth, I’m sure that I was initially attracted to its explanation of Winter, of which I am not fond and never have been, and its promise of Spring. After all, Persephone is the Greek Goddess of Spring. When she returns to Earth from the Underworld and her obligations as wife of Hades and Queen of the Underworld, she brings with her Spring and its glorious days.
This weekend I encountered an interesting article over at Digital Photography School that talks about photographing with meaning.
There comes a point, or a plateau, as in every photographer’s career (whether you are an intermediate or professional photographer) where you hit a wall. It’s a crisis of self that you are faced with when you have reached a certain point of technical proficiency. Well, basically you hit a plateau because you already know […]
To be perfectly honest, I had not consciously thought about being in the winter of a “crisis of self” in terms of photography. At some level I knew that I was at a plateau and had been for some time, but I did not have time to worry about it because of so many family life crises I had to deal with in the past year and a half. I try to photograph something every day to keep up my skills, and almost every day I learn something new about photography. But, I did not sit down and plan to do something different; I did not think I had time to fit thinking about something like that into my life at the moment.
I’m not really certain exactly how a casual mention of the Persephone myth in an email from friend Jim Stallings set off the photography frenzy that followed, but it did. Within two weeks I had done a short series inspired by it, using my well known subjects of sunflowers and butterflies. Once that was done, however, I began to think of a series involving a model to tell a portion of the Persephone myth. Although I had worked with a model on someone else’s project in the past, and although at one time I did maternity portraiture, I had never hired a model I chose for a conceptual project. I wasn’t even sure how to go about it. But almost, as if by magic, the perfect model appeared. I shocked myself by walking up and asking her if she would be a photographer’s model and, almost as surprisingly, she agreed.
With Persephone, Greek Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld as both a starting point and inspiration, this conceptual photographic series also became an exploration of the meaning of being female with both body and mind. What began as a small personal project for this photographer also became a search for meaning of self, reflecting back on life as a woman, anthropologist, and obstetrician-gynecologist. I didn’t consciously set out “to photograph with meaning,” but it is a series that came to have a lot of meaning to me personally, whether it does to anyone else or not. In the first month of 2016, I surprised myself again by publishing a small Kindle Book. (That added another surprise. While poking around on Amazon, I found a copy of a book, Anthropologists at Home in North America, in which I had published one of my early anthropology papers . That was a bit of shock, and definitely a pleasant reminder.)
I feel like a new spring has arrived for me in my work as a photographer. Today, I cannot say where things will go from here. Kelly Angerosa, my model for Persephone, and I will work together in the spring. I’m looking forward to that next adventure!
Early Spring Flowers: Yellow Crocus and Blue Grape Hyacinths
Early spring flowers – the earliest ones – are frequently a variety of bulbs. For today, the first day of Spring 2015, I present yellow crocus and blue grape hyacinths.
Daffodils and narcissus are blooming now, as are a variety of fruit trees. I have a new peach tree that my neighbors gave me last year, and it was starting to bloom when we got the snow a couple of weeks ago. Those blossoms will not make fruit this year. However, my pear trees are just beginning to bloom, and I should have picture of those before too long.
Today itself was actually rather cool, but this weekend should be good for getting more work done in the yard.
Winter to spring transition in roses is abundantly clear in my garden this year. A couple of weeks ago we had several days of above average temperatures. Many roses began to send out new growth.
Here in the high desert of New Mexico we are taught not to prune our roses until late March or early April, because pruning stimulates new growth. That tender new growth will die if we get a late freeze, which is not uncommon here in the high desert. So, my roses have not yet been pruned, nor will they be for several weeks. But, because the roses are sending out new growth, I have had the opportunity to photograph old spent blooms and hips with the new growth: a winter to spring transition. I sometimes think of it as “the junction of life and death,” but I realize that is too strong for some readers. I personally find with junction of the remains of last year’s growth and blooms with this year’s brand new growth to be beautiful and interesting.
Some of the new rose leaves are red. This is not a photoshopped color. The red color is due to pigments called anthocyanins, which actually help protect the tender new growth from harsh UV light. As the plants mature, and they no longer need this protection, the pigments disperse, the leaves become green, and become chlorophyll factories through photosynthesis. Not all roses produce the red leaves on early spring growth, however.