Sunday, March 23, 2014

Textures, Shapes, and Great Escapes

Several weeks ago, I started noticing signs of spring.  First, the wood ducks came back.  Ducks living in trees?  It's still hard to believe!

The female is a dull brown...

...but the male is brilliantly colored.

I saw another one in California this week:

The anole lizards are out and about.

Mainly sleeping in the sun.

As are turtles...

I've been seeing a lot more insect activity, which is always exciting.  Mud dauber wasps are building nests...

...and paper wasps, too.

Insects have already sprung from this cocoon:

They are still safely tucked away within the webbing on this leaf.

This moth is resting on a window sill and hoping not to be noticed:

Within the very same window, a miniature drama plays out:  a spider has caught a shield bug, many times its own size, and has incapacitated him. 

I love seeing all these little hints that winter is nearly over.  I've been starved, too, for textures and colors.  I soaked them all in at the Clemson Botanical Gardens in early March.

Vibrant spiky leaves:

The wrinkled and crinkled textures and colors of these two types of ornamental cabbage/kale:

The scaly green cylinders of moss:

This mottled bark:

These peeling strands:

The radiating lines on this tree stump:

The textures and colors of this stone wall:

Even the rough texture and elegant lines of this stone floor:

Even though South Carolina has mild winters, it doesn't diminish my joy of spring.  I love seeing the colors and shapes of it, and "old friends" returning:  the birds, and my beloved insects. I was away for a week in California (the aforementioned 'great escape' - pictures coming soon), and even in that short time I've noticed dramatic changes outside. 

I hope you're having a great spring, wherever you are!

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