A close-up side view highlights the graceful beauty of this Sweet White Violet flower (Viola blanda).
These tiny treasures are young Red Maple leaves (Acer rubrum) that have just begun to unfurl from their protective bud. This young, they still show their underlying red pigments - soon hidden as the leaf develops its green, energy-producing chlorophyll.
A high-magnification image of a lilac flower bud (Syringa vulgaris) shows the immature flowers hidden under the leaves as both begin to expand from under the protective bud sheath - and the tiny sticky hairs that protect it from hungry insects.
An old stalk of grass that weathered the winter has aged into graceful curls and stands out above the young Spring leaves.
Post-processing the photo to black & white emphasizes form over color, further highlighting the beautiful curls.
A softly lit daffodil flower bud highlights the simpler outer petals (tepals) as the flower pushes through its protective sheath (spathe) - and hints at the shielded inner ruffled trumpet (corona) that will soon burst forth.
This morning I find myself celebrating the subtle sights and sounds of Spring - meltwater dripping off warming snow, trickling musically in tiny rivulets down the driveway, the rich smell of the soil as the winter frost yields to the slowly lengthening days.
Here's hoping you, too, can enjoy some time to soak up the little blessings of the day.
A wind-freed Northern Pin Oak leaf rests on a warming bed of snow, softening its winter brittleness in the slowly melting snow - the first steps in its journey to fertilizing new growth.
Conjuring up (for me, at least) the enchanted woods of Lothlorien, Northern Pin Oak trees (Quercus ellipsoidalis) usually keep their leaves through winter, eventually losing them to the blustery winds of March.
Echoing the contrast of winter to spring, the cool blue of the snow yields to the warm color of the leaf; the once hard snow, to the softening drops of water on the leaf. Soon ... Spring!
Conditions were just right this morning for that multi-colored sparkling type of snow - a low angled sun, recent snow from a dry, cold day for those just-right kinds of flakes that refract the light, and soft shadows from distant tree limbs to darken the bright snow just enough to highlight the colors.
And then, recalling childhood memories of those first discoveries, moving side to side just a few inches magically changes everything; new sparkles pop up, and existing ones change color. Magical moments!
Fresh winter snow caps a brightly colored cluster of Highbush Cranberry berries (Viburnum opulus var. americanum), adding an eye-catching flash of color to the winter woods.
Highbush cranberry is a welcome native bush to the Wisconsin landscape, so often crowded out by invasive species like the honeysuckles. While both provide protection and forage for our wildlife, the Vibernum's fruit lasts well into the leaner winter months.
Our North American Vibernum is closely related to the European variety and, scientifically, is often treated as its subspecies (i.e., Viburnum opulus subsp. trilobum). While not related to cranberries, the name comes from the red fruits, which look much alike, have a similar flavor, and ripen at the same time of year.
is my photo-invitation to slow down and soak in all the wonder and beauty woven through creation.