Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring Comes to Piney Creek



Yesterday
        What a difference thirty hours makes!
Today




Bye bye, Blast of Winter.
Hello, Full On Spring!

Once the storm stopped, the sky cleared, and the sun returned,
it's amazing how fast the solar heat melted yesterday's snow.







Flood Water Pond



After our intense May snowstorm, I went for a walk along Piney Creek
to enjoy the cool spring weather and to look for signs of spring. 

What little remained of yesterday's snow
seemed to melt in front of my eyes.



Snow-Flattened Grass




Snow lingered on the north side of fallen trees
and tilted on the north side of clumps of grass.












I wasn't the only one enjoying
the warm sunshine.

Mallard ducks 
basked in the sun 
in an ephemeral pond
formed from recent rain
and melting snow. 















Leaves busted out on the cottonwoods everywhere, 
eagerly turning sunlight into chemical energy.











    Cottonwood Leaves



The Aurora City Park may look barren at first glance,
but you can find all kinds of interesting things when you look closer.









 Nature Paints in Duckweed and Foam





 A Rabbit Freezes, Hoping for Invisibility







Tiny flowers peak
through groundcover.

























The park is filled with the sounds of running water and the chuck-trill of redwing blackbirds.








Cottonwoods Filled with Small Birds




A Fragile Home for New Life




You have to be careful when you step off the path.
You never know what might lurk underfoot.




Sharp Spines Protect New Growth



There are wonderful patterns and textures all around.




Shadows on Snow on Grass



Old Man Cottonwood




 Ants on Quartz




Lichen on Bark




 
Bright New Leaves




Cottonwood Through Cottonwood





 A Living Fossil ~ Equisetum (Horsetail)



I have walked through this long, skinny park hundreds of times, 
but I never tire of its changing seasons and moods,
nor its gentle beauty.












Water for Life





 Grasses and Plants Thrusting Through  
Reflection-Filled Flood Water




Snow Caught at the Base of a Cottonwood



It is a perfect spring day, a unique spring day,
never to be duplicated in our constantly changing world.




33 comments:

  1. You have taken me on a wonderful trip through your Piney Creek, every word with its own photo tells a story, then interwoven, a book on life that revolves around nature and the seasons, Beautiful photos, every one. My favourite, Horsetail strands, so like parts of a quilt in the making.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely and lyrical comment, Jean! I've been photographing Piney Creek with my digital camera for about six years. At some point I would like to do a children's science picture book, and I'd like to load a collection up on Wikimedia ~ my newest computer skill. I'm thinking of you and Huge both today. Fingers crossed, sending hugs and prayers!

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  2. What a great tour! I love when blogging pals share photos of their areas. So funny how those rabbits freeze hoping you don't notice them :)

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    1. And I love sharing your world, Martha! You capture it so artistically with your camera. I was frustrated at the branch right in front of the rabbit, but the moment I moved, it exploded into a wild run. Gone lickity-split! Have a lovely day!

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  4. I totally enjoyed viewing those pictures. Favorites are "Cottonwood Through Cottonwood" and "Grasses and Plants Thrusting Through Reflection-Filled Flood Water."

    Do you think that was the last of the snow?

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    1. Thanks, Peaches! I was really happy with those two shots! It had better be the last of the snow, but you never know. We live in the transition zone between the mountains and high plains and that makes the weather changeable. Throw in climate change with the more extreme weather it brings, and anything can happen. Have a great week, Peaches.

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  5. Replies
    1. Isn't it cute? The newest babies are smaller than my fist, but they grow so fast. Have a great week, Debra!

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  6. Nature all back to how it should be in spring, bet the bunny is off to have a fling lol

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    1. Got to live fast and high, if you're a bunny ~ lots of raptors overhead! Have a good one, Pat!

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  7. Some amazing shots! That is stunning the difference from one day to the next. And weird to see snow surrounded by so much green growth.

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    1. Thanks, Alex! I've seen that solar heat kick in many times. We sit at just about 5,980 feet in elevation and get strong sunshine. It's wonderful when you have to go out on bad roads in the winter, because the roads typically clear and dry quickly. Our plants and trees soak up that water and burst with growth. The cottonwood's bark, for example, is designed to soak up and retain moisture. It's always fascinating to observe nature. Have a great week, Alex!

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  8. How beautiful...and what a difference indeed! I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, so nice to see Spring there. :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! The difference is really amazing! Have a lovely day!

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  9. That is an unbelievable transformation!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe the difference! You spotted SO many wonderful signs of wildlife! I love it, especially frozen bunny, ants on quartz and the cottonwood- tell me, is that cottonwood as in the cotton we wear or is it named for some other reason!?x

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! The cottonwood trees produce a cottony fluff ball that carries its seeds. The wind picks this up and carries it around. The trees produce a lot of this fluff and it can pile up in little drifts. I may have to do a post on this! Have a great evening!

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  10. I still can't believe there's places that still have snow in May

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    1. LOL! There are, Adam; although the sun has blasted through our recent snow and all that is left is where plows piled it up. Have a good one!

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  11. You just had snow yesterday? Amazing! I worked in the yard in 90 degree heat. I used to live in places where it snowed, but we never had snow in May. In Washington state, we visited Mount Rainier during the summer. We didn't go very high, but we saw little bits of snow that hadn't melted yet. Rainier is beautiful. I enjoyed your photos.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks, JJ! This was the second Mother's Day in a row that we've had snow! I'm confident that we're done for the spring now. I've only seen Mt. Rainier in the distance, but I'd love to climb it even part way. Have a good day!

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  12. Oh my! Louise! These shots are wonderful! What an eye for detail you have and what you notice/see I really like! Special mention to that 'rabbit photo' and to all the Cottonwood pics. I have never seen one close up. They kind of look like Aspens in a way....at least their leaves do. We have a few Aspens here but not Cottonwood.
    This was a great tour of your Park. Thanks.

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    1. Your words warm my heart, Jim! Especially coming from a wonderful photographer like you! Cottonwood trees are related to aspens and poplars both!

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  13. I saw other snow pictures of David Sheppards. He is in Colorado too visiting his daughter. When I saw your photos all I could think of was "cold, ice and more winter". But you have proven me wrong, look at all those beautiful pale chartreuse green leaves and birds and ducks and trees and grasses. Loving spring so much!

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    1. There's nothing like spring, Ron, with all its promise! It's so good to see you, my friend. I cannot wait to come to NS this summer! Take care!

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  14. What a wonderful sequence of photos! There is a celebration of life here that amounts so gently to elation. Many thanks, Fundy Blue.

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    1. Thank you, Geo! You made my day with your kind and encouraging comment!

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  15. It came and then (thankfully) it was gone. I left the mountains to escape snow, but it seemed to follow me to Denver! However, by Monday, we biked north on the S Platte Trail and most was melted. Colorado weather is so changeable - especially in spring. I really enjoyed your walk in the park, Louise.

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    1. Thanks, Barb! This was one of those times that the snow didn't stay in the mountains. That's a good thing because we need moisture in our area. I can imagine that your bike ride on the S. Platt Trail was wonderful!

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  16. Very beautiful post! You have a very interesting blog!
    Would you like us to follow eachother on GFC and keep in touch?
    xo from Italy,
    Sonia Verardo
    http://www.trenchcollection.com/

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    1. Thanks, for your kind comment, Sonia!

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  17. Oh Louise, nature photos.....my favorite. I cannot get over that change from one day to the next in the top photo! Love the ducks, the rabbit and all the green leaves. And oh how I miss snow. I don't allow myself to think too much about how Summer is just starting.....!!!

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    1. Haha! Maybe you aren't excited about summer as much as I thought when I answered your previous comment just now! It is stunning how much things can change in a day in Colorado. We're probably going to have the wettest May on record in Aurora, and it's really lush and green around here. I have more nature shots that I want to get up ~ I have way more posts in my mind than I can write! Have a lovely day!

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