The Springtime Harmony Returns
Friday March 11 2011
Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Spring
April is not far away and myself am constantly looking out my window watching changes in Weather teasing my appetite to feel “part of ” again. To chat with all the folks and critters I encountered over the Summer past, to rebuild relationship with Mother Nature and to experience new adventures like kayaking, canoeing while the magic of springtime reveals itself in my minds eye.Spring brings for me the chance to experiment with the art of Photography and gives me the opportunity to regain my health after a Long Winter Hibernating mostly indoors. So to be lucky to enjoy four seasons in this part of the World and to have so many new wonders to see every day is a treat .The sights, sounds and smells of spring is that constant circle that brings the meditative state of well being . At peace with your surroundings, environment all the elements that is life itself.
Enjoy the following article
Doug Worrall Coordinator
One of the many good things about spring is that without it, and without the absence imposed by fall and winter, we flawed mortals might fail to appreciate the beauties around us. So much of the wonder of spring is found in the return of what was absent. Would the appearance of new leaves and wild flowers be so wonderful to our small minds if they hadn’t been absent?
The first greening of the growing wild flowers and weeds like the first sight, the heralding, of spring with that glimpse of brilliant green that soon grows to carpet the earth everywhere. Then the trees, warmed by the fresh sunlight and rain, begin to unfold their leaves until even the last late trees have unfurled their finery and it is as if the last of spring has completed its work and summer has arrived. The Rebirth of animals and seeing the small animals grow large, and some fly away never to be seen again.Each year will be new Birth and new creatures to this land.Springtime is definitely my time of year.
With spring many flowers bloom. Memorable for me in this part of the country are the Common teasel, Milkweed, morning glories, crocuses, daffodils, juneberry, and lilacs. Each is beautiful in its own right, each marks another splash of color and life in the canvas of nature.
Perhaps closest to my heart are Swamp Vervain (verbena hastata).
Swamp (violet blue purple) blossoms develop in a ring, starting at the bottom of the flower spike. As the ring approaches the top,the spike often produces more buds at its tip, sometimes extending the flowering period to three months. This plant has been used for many years as a medicinal herb for treating convalescents and people suffering from depression, headaches, jaundice, cramps, coughs and fevers. Externally, it has been applied to wounds, ulcers and acne.
Yet unmentioned is the flower I find iconic for spring: the dandelion.As an Eagle soars and sees the landscape below during springtime, It can see entire fields of them. They are far from the most beautiful flower, they are not dainty or exquisite . . . but there is some simple cheery vigor about dandelions which speaks to me about the heart of spring. And there is some wild and unvarnished beauty to a field turned bright yellow by the endless profusion of dandelions.
Sounds affect me in a different way than sights. In a sense this may seem like an obvious statement because you hear sounds while you see sights. But I mean sounds touch my emotions differently. It is a subtle distinction of impression which I’m not sure I fully grasp or can adequately articulate. In general I would say sight and sound touch emotions from different avenues. Speaking in particular about spring, while I find the sights of spring invigorating I often find the sounds of spring to induce reflection and a quiet pleasantness.The morning time symphony of spring is carried out by the birds. The Waterfowl around the great lakes.The Canadian geese as they fly back from there Southern journeys.The lapping of he waves on the shore.Most of all the breeze flowing through the forest leaves and branches.Sounds of Nature make it very easy to reach a meditative state.
One of the most calming sounds in spring, for me, are the “tree frogs” . Peepers are small frogs which emit a distinctive peeping mating call. If birds are the musical orchestra of the morning then these little frogs are the maestros of the evening. As evening falls with its coolness and darkness begins to creep in the peepers take up their call. It is . . . an unearthly ambiance. It is strangely pleasant, like the melody of night itself. Perhaps as such some people would find it slightly creepy, (and it does have a certain resemblance to the “scary music” sound that is played in dark spooky scenes in some movies), but for me it is the type of sound which sets my mind free to wander the paths of ethereal lands. Not only is it a sound to have wafting through a slightly opened window as one goes to sleep, but it is a sound for sitting around a camp fire after dark and thinking quiet thoughts as the night wanes late.
Then there are the geese.Cootes paradise is 15 minutes away , which a number of geese frequent. In the cooler hours of evening the geese seem most active in flying about. I find something of a imagery in hearing geese flying low overhead, their, “Honk, honk, honk,” echoing slightly in the cooling evening air, followed by several splashes as they come in to land on the water. Imagery, because the sounds evoke the images of wildlife paintings in my mind, especially paintings of Wetlands in the evening, with Geese If the birds and peepers are almost frenetic in their energy, there is something more stately and steady about the sounds of geese, as if they are the sentinels and watchmen over this domain, watchmen who give their final benediction to the dimming world as they head to seal the day with a final baptismal splash.
Smell is the most subtle of senses touched by spring. In spring there is the sweet fragrance of flowers, which is perhaps the first thing many think of. But my thoughts are drawn to subtler scents. In winter the sun is low and weak, giving little light and even less warmth. Because of that I would say the first smell of spring comes when the sun rises high enough, and shines strong enough, to create the particular aroma of vegetation growing, warmed by sunlight pouring onto them from the sky. Is there any smell more pleasing and inviting than that?
Then there is the smell of fresh air, so undefinable and yet something we all recognize on that first day after a long winter when we open a window and that smell, so deliciously fresh, wafts into the house for the first time after so many months. It is an aroma which reinvigorates a person and truly freshens a house. If sickness hangs on the stale air of winter, then the air of spring brings health and life on its wings.
And we can’t forget the smell of rain. It comes on the wind, a harbinger of the storm, and strikes the senses with a particular almost tang. That is a unique smell that I always wonder how it is created, and so strongly, to come even before the storm has reached. No flower has an aroma with such reach.
After the rain has fallen there is the rich pungent smell of wetness, the earthy odor of damp dirt and things growing.
Spring is here, and it is a thing to be enjoyed with all the senses.
Source Silver Leaf,Canadian Gardens,Wikipedia
Doug Worrall Photographer