Every season I say the same thing…

29 March, 2012    Every season I say the
same thing… …”THIS is my favorite season.” Every season I mean
it. My last post was March 21 – I’m startled to realize. My only
post for March, wow. Last March (2011) was my first full month of
blogging and I put up fifteen posts. Now March is almost over and
this is only my second post! Anyway, it’s early Spring and this is
definitely my favorite season. Until summer arrives. The
philosopher (that’s one way to describe him) Joseph Campbell said
“life lives on lives.” So many things are bursting out and being
born now and consuming and being consumed, it’s difficult to tell
where one stops and another begins. If you’re in Richmond, VA now
it’s difficult not to notice pollen and inchworms. I read up on
inchworms on wikipedia and discovered this outstanding sentence:
“They are seldom hairy or gregarious and are generally smooth.” I’m
going to work that sentence into a conversation at some point
today. I wonder if the person I’m speaking with will know I’m
talking about inchworms. Gregarious. I certainly didn’t see that
one coming. Flowers are everywhere and Pony Pasture is (as we’ve
already seen) full of  beauties. I’ve done a lot (to put it
mildly) of hiking at Pony Pasture yet somehow remained unaware of
these gorgeous flowers. Not sure how I could have missed this:

I’ve posted other pictures of these on
fb so maybe you’ve already seen them. Some seeds (I presume) have
washed down the river into the park. But the inimitable Ralph White
and I presume the Friends of the James River Park planted hundreds
a couple of weeks ago. They’re Virginia Bluebells, a.k.a. Mertensia
virginica a.k.a a lot of other fascinating names, e.g. “Lungwort
Oysterleaf” (!?) and “Roanoke Bells.”

Many flowers (and many other outdoor
sights) say “Spring” to me but it’s possible Redbuds (Cercis
canadensis) say it most sincerely. I have many positive
associations with redbuds stretching far back into my childhood,
perhaps into the Spring of my life, and redbuds never fail to evoke
those good feelings.

Believe it or not (I can hardly
believe it myself) there were no dogs in our home when I grew up.
Always cats, from before I was even born, but we didn’t get a dog
until I was leaving for college and for good in 1979. That was the
incomparable Cassie, a dog who foreshadowed Ivory in many ways. I
hope someone in my family will send me a picture of her so I can
include her in a future post. If you’re familiar with Greek
mythology, you may recall Cassandra as being granted the gift of
prophecy, but cursed never to be believed. We didn’t know much
about dogs when we first had Cassie. She didn’t have a name yet.
She would give us plenty of signs – she prophesied – that she had
to use the bathroom, but was cursed never to be believed. We in
turn were cursed with many wet spots on the carpet until she
finally convinced us of the accuracy of her forecasts. Cassandra
was her perfect and perfectly inevitable name. Anyway, a favorite
book of mine in that era (before Cassie arrived) was written in
1961 (the year I was born) by a man named Wilson Rawls. It was
called – a little more foreshadowing here – Where the Red Fern Grows –
The Story of Two Dogs and a Boy
. Who could possibly
have seen this coming. I may have read it twelve times. Or more.
This time of year I am reminded of a particular passage. I am
reminded every Spring  since I would imagine sometime in the
early 1970’s when I first read it. Rawls opens the book with this
passage – in this case it is classic foreshadowing – and closes on
the final page: “In the spring the aromatic scent of wild flowers,
redbuds, pawpaws, and dogwoods, drifting on the wind currents,
spread over the valley and around our home.” – Wilson Rawls
(2011-01-12). Where
the Red Fern Grows
(Kindle Locations 153-155). Random
House, Inc.. Kindle Edition. There is already no shortage of
wildflowers in this blog and in this post. My homage to Mr. Rawls
and to the book and to all of the dogs that have influenced me.
First a redbud from Pony Pasture:

Followed by an infant pawpaw I found
clinging to the south bank of the James River at Pony Pasture this

And this glorious dogwood gracing my
front yard.

Boy. I
totally didn’t outline this post. Does it show? I just sat down and
started typing. You may even say this post is organic. Somewhat
less organically, my friend and I were at the tracks yesterday and
got this picture of an eastbound coal train rolling past a work
crew. Each of those coal cars weighs ~100 tons. The biggest guy
standing there probably about 1/1,000th of that. They sure do look
relaxed. I guess you get used to it. Back to the river.
Back to this morning. I could have done a little better with this
shot, but I like the geese on the water in the sunrise: It is just a
treasure to be down at the river early in the morning. The latest
sunrise of the year here in central Virginia is around 7:30 in late
October. The earliest is mid-June, when it comes up around 5:45.
That is really early. But these days it’s coming up very close to
7:00 and I get the privilege of seeing this: I’ll close with one
more shot I enjoyed a great deal. If you’re so inclined, try to
take a picture of a spiderweb some time. It is really difficult.
But this one was sagging from the weight of the early morning dew
and the sun was coming up behind it and everything came together:
I hope you’re
enjoying this magnificent early spring as much as we are. Have a
great day, Jay and friends

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Flowers, Fun, Rivers, Trains. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Every season I say the same thing…

  1. Evelyn says:

    What a gorgeous web – It looks like fine jewelry, only prettier! Fun post

    • Thanks Evelyn! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I had a lot of fun with this one. And I too enjoyed that picture of the web. It’s so hard to get a good image of a spiderweb, I was thrilled to find one.

      Have a great day,


  2. Andrew M. says:

    Your pics are amazing! The web and the pawpaw!

    • Thanks Andrew! I’m glad you liked them. The rule of photography is just like the well known rule in real estate, only in this case it’s light – light – light. The river is just so beautiful in the morning right now. Glad you enjoyed it! Have a great day,


  3. Clare M says:

    Great pictures, Jay! Love the spiderweb. I do love spring!

    • Hi Clare! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures on this post. That spiderweb is really, really neat. I was lucky to be there! I love spring also; what a wonderful time of year. Have a great day and I’ll talk with you soon,



  4. Pingback: PP Flora | NEWFAZE

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