spring, sprung, sproing…

I meant to go to the Botanical Gardens on Saturday, really I did. But I let both the “I’m too tired” mantra and the fact that I’m “camera-ed out” get to me. Maybe it’s just that the flowers are growing too fast for me to keep up. I’ll go another weekend.DSC_0301

DSC_0302But still, I had taken a lot of photos in my own yard, just recently, so who needs to go elsewhere? I really love this particular shade of pale pink on our azalea bushes. They also don’t seem to open quite as much as the darker pink ones, or maybe they just haven’t been blooming as long. They’re very photogenic, if you can apply that term to a flower.DSC_0303

DSC_0305It was a bit tricky to get pictures of the little purple bell-shaped flowers (I haven’t asked my mom what they are, yet), as they’re so low to the ground that the best shots should be taken on your stomach. But these are not located in the front yard, where it’s safe to lie in the grass. All other locations have sparse grass and the ants are emerging. Now, I’m not saying we have fire ants in our yard, but if you were raised in the south, you don’t trust anything that even resembles an ant. And even if they don’t bite, I don’t want them inside my clothes.DSC_0306

DSC_0308So, I held my camera as low to the ground as I could, and hoped I was aiming in the right direction, in order capture the little “bells”. And in the backyard, I found a few of them that were a little more of a purplish-pink shade.DSC_0309

DSC_0311Another of the pale pink azalea bushes are right up against the side of the house, giving it a nice backdrop of the light brick. Some of those were tricky to take, because we have lots of mulch, several feet deep, that isn’t as “sturdy” as it looks. I would stand on it quickly, pray I didn’t sink, and then jump off before any bugs decided to come investigate the disturbance.DSC_0318

DSC_0304Don’t think I’m really afraid of bugs, but I’m telling you, at this time of year, the ants are emerging, and they’re no joke, fire ants or otherwise. And if you’ve never been bit by a fire ant, I know you don’t know what I’m talking about. But they are the itch of pure insanity, and I wouldn’t will it on anyone. If you want to know what critters freak me out, remember my discussion of worms after a rain, and wait’ll the caterpillars start to invade our porch. Shudder.DSC_0324

DSC_0328DSC_0326On the way into the backyard, I paused to see how the hydrangea bush was coming along, and it’s almost fully green now, though the flowers haven’t arrived yet. Many of these trees and bushes, once the flowers have gone and the green has arrived, I really lose interest in them. The contrast between bare branches and bright colors, that is much more aesthetic. And if you’ve never examined a branch while the leaves are just newly arrived, will you have noticed the shiny, plastic-y quality that newly “born” leaves have, on their first day or so?DSC_0331

DSC_0332More “bells” in the backyard, one complete with an inchworm, and then a lone dandelion. This dandelion is ahead of its time, as I don’t even think we have any yellow ones in the front yard yet.DSC_0333

DSC_0334Our maple tree is just beginning to form its leaves, so I think you can see some of that “new shine” that comes with the arrival of new leaves.DSC_0336

DSC_0335Back to the front yard, I noticed some weeds that actually have pretty colors, but soon, they’ll be mowed and gone. So, enjoy them while they last.  : )  The irises, however, are a different story.DSC_0342

DSC_0345I’m sure there must be a proper protocol to photographing an iris, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. They seem to be the same on all three sides of its flower, so what angle makes them look beautiful and not haphazard? I don’t think I quite managed it with the dark blue ones, though they look kind of cool from straight above. Since it had just rained, this one even had a pool of water in its middle.DSC_0347

DSC_0349Then I looked at the large flowers next to them, and wondered what they were. I was debating whether we had an gladiolas planted in our garden, and was planning to ask my mom… whenever I remembered. But the next day, they bloomed. And they weren’t gladiolas.DSC_0350

DSC_0354These were a more majestic (and easier to photograph) type of iris, and I had some fun with them, as you can see. Even the fuzzy “tongue” on the lip of the flower is quite beautiful. And I’m happy to say that the dark blue irises had opened up a bit more, and were doing their best for the camera.DSC_0356

DSC_0360DSC_0364Before returning to the house, I stopped to take a glance at our little birdhouse, not realizing that there were actually bluebird babies inside. I was a little worried that the mommy bluebird might come and divebomb me, but she must have been off foraging. Or maybe she’d just fed them, because this little one was half asleep and uninterested in me. When they’re starving, they’ll be yelling their heads off, and you can take pictures of them, much more easily.DSC_0365

DSC_0366DSC_0371But while the mother bird was building her nest, we were quite fascinated by the blue sheen of her feathers. The only problem is that I can’t show you any pictures, because if you get too close to our front window, the birds fly away. I need to come up with a piece of furniture that allows me to hide behind it, in order to get bird photos from inside.DSC_0370

DSC_0375So, considering that I never left my yard for any of these pictures, I think I did pretty well. I’ll explore the Botanical Gardens again, in the upcoming weeks.DSC_0376DSC_0378

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