Spring is and has always been my favorite season. When I lived in New Jersey, signs of spring became readily apparent April. In between what always seemed like a lot of rain, this was the month during which flowers began blooming in abundance, the song of birds began to greet me awake in the morning, and warm weather made it possible to wear fewer layers while enjoying the outdoors. The warm temperatures, smell of wet earth, and signs of new life, from critters becoming active again and buds appearing for the first time in months, have always made spring my favorite. This time of year is always filled with such hope and promise it seems.
I can’t help but think that my love for spring is somehow connected to my mom’s love of gardening. My mom has always maintained a fairly extensive flower garden, and all throughout college I made it a point to photograph her flowers at least a few times during the spring and summer months when they were in peak bloom and I was visiting home. In fact, mom’s flowers were the motivation for me to buy my first macro lens. Despite the hardships of trying to plant a beautiful organic garden in the suburbs of New Jersey (deer, rabbits, squirrels, and other critters enjoying making a meal of mom’s bulbs and buds), my mom keeps at it and I’m always amazed by the beauty of her little suburban oasis.
Tulips are my favorite flower. I love their shape, from the voluptuous bell shaped flower itself to the angular arching leaves that frame the thick stem on either side. The year this photo was taken my mom planted 200 tulip bulbs in her garden, knowing I loved them so much, and deer ate all but two of them. This was one of the survivors. The yellow and pink glow in the background are the only others.
Spring now is a little different that it was for me growing up. In New Hampshire, the approach of spring is a bit delayed and always preceded by mud season, which is pretty miserable. Here, the season is shorter, and aside from that, I’ve never actually spent a spring in New Hampshire. Ever since relocating several years ago, I have traveled for much of the spring season, spending a portion of April in Florida each year for the Birding and Photo Fest in St. Augustine, and heading down to Baltimore and West Virginia in May to lead a backpacking trip for Johns Hopkins University. This will be the first year since I’ve moved here that I will be able to experience a New Hampshire spring, departing for only two weeks at the end of May for the backpacking trip. Even though I anticipate it will be far less spectacular than those down south, where azaleas, rhododendrons, Eastern redbud, and numerous other flowers appear in abundance, I’m excited to be able to have time to enjoy the season at home, mud and all.
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