Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring has arrived in Kentucky

Spring is probably the prettiest time of year in Kentucky and it seems like it announces its' arrival with more exuberance than I'm used to. The multitude of flowering trees is the one thing I notice the most.

The redbuds are first out, with incredible banks of rose pink against dark forests of trees just starting to leaf out. They are everywhere, along the roads, along the pasture fences, around the ponds.

As they start to fade, the dogwoods begin their takeover. With their trunks and branches fading into
the darkness, the flowers leap into your vision with the brilliance of a scattering of stars.

Underfoot, the ground is carpeted with wild violets, tucked into every little damp, shaded corner and I enjoy their delicacy ... soon overwhelmed by the aggressive growth of the rest of the greenery, including briars.

Once the blackberry briars are out in full force, my "nature hikes" are limited to open areas. I've dealt with wild plum thickets riding in Montana but have never before had to deal with tangles of springy briars that seem to actually leap out to grab any portion of body or clothing.

In my attempts to get photos for later use in my artwork, I may leave "interesting" objects where the briars overtake them in artistic ways but I photograph them, very carefully, with a zoom lens, while standing well back from the eager thorns.

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