The threshold of spring

Winterthur, Delaware on March 13, 2020

Legacy of Henry Francis du Pont, 1880-1969, American

 

 

 

It is not only that the flowers are ephemeral and are so called, glory-of-the-snow being the first to appear;

 

Also ephemeral are the changes of this time between winter and spring: the threshold of spring.

 

In winter, almost everything is a shade of gray and brown;

 

until other colours appear at the beginning of spring: interspersed, speckled, mottled among the gray-browns

 

 

 

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Japanese barberry

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Flowering quince

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Flowering quince

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A crabapple cultivar whose flowers will bloom in the red with which it is already specked

 

 

This overlay of spring on winter renders the landscape ethereal: a colour wash over winter gray-blue-browns.  

 

 

 

Two trees are in bloom at this time of year in Winterthur:  the yellow  cornus florida

 

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Cornus florida seen through the branches of a Japanese maple whose feet are in glory-of-the-snow

 

 

and star magnolia

 

 

 

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Lichen competes with ivy to reach the tops of the trees.

 

 

 

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and  golden moss leads you into the woods

 

 

 

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Of the bushes, the bright yellow forsythia is in bloom,

 

 

 

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the ivory and mottled pink Pieris Japonica cultivars,

 

 

 

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the earliest of the azaleas is also in bloom: a glowing pink hybrid from Korea. 

 

 

 

 

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Of the flowers, it is glory-of-the-snow (chionodoxa forbessi)  which is the first of the ephemerals

 

in large drifts under the beeches and the poplars

blue-purple with white eyes

 

 

 

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glory-of-the-snow beneath a Japanese red maple

 

 

Surprised to find themselves almost keeping pace for height with the peonies in their beds. 

 

 

 

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Lenten roses are in bloom

 

 

 

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A rare floret of Spring crocus 

 

 

 

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Amur adonis is in bloom but not fully yet everywhere

 

 

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And everywhere a washing away with the rain of winter shapes and colours  towards spring. 

 

But very gently. You cannot see it.  You simply mark the changes.  They come quickly at this time of year.  Ephemeral.

 

 

 

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Crown of a dawn redwood

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Seedpod of the magnolia grandiflora which never fell after the seeds dispersed

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Buds of the star magnolia

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Snowball viburnum

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Largeflower winterhazel on the point of flowering

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Korean rhododendron

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The hydrangea seems the only plant which has remained immobile since winter, offering no hint of a spring to come.  

 

 

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Hydrangea whose fragile flower heads remain intact through winter

 

 

The Hippocampus overlooking the old swimming pool is solitary.  Surrounded by grays and silver-greens.

 

 

 

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Antcipating his companions of May

 

 

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All a wonder year after year after year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “The threshold of spring

  1. So full of fragile hope. Wishing I lived near enough to accompany you on your photographic odysseys.

    1. Yes, it looks and feels fragile but the changes are remorseless.

      I recall our time among the peonies….Blessed grounds, Winterthur. The virus has closed the museum but it appears that the grounds have been made available without charge to everyone. You would so enjoy these forays!

      Sarah

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