Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Home Thoughts From Abroad

Oh,to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees,some morning,unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April,when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops- at the bent sprays edge-
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups,the little children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning 1812-1889

And that is just how it is in England at the moment, the sun is shining and almost overnight a soft green haze has appeared and the wind flowers and celandines are scattered through the woodlands and by the river.

Wood anenomes(windflowers) are predominantly white but it isn't unusual to find pink ones like this among the white.

There is something about the pure white ones that is especially beautiful though.

This photograph was taken in the early morning before the flowers had opened properly so doesn't show them at their best.

Lesser celandine - so bright and pretty withn their heart shaped leaves..

I love the bronze and green of these beautifully pleated young leaves - I'm not sure what kind of tree but it's a maple of some kind - probably a young sycamore. If anyone knows for sure please tell me:)

Young nettles and grass sparkling with dewdrops. I hope the dewdrops show up, clicking and making it larger might help.

Skunk cabbage (or lysichiton americanus)growing by the river - there are only a few of them but they are rather splendid looking. The slugs obviously thought so too!

The very first bluebell I've seenthis year, just one all by itself among a sea of green leaves. It's a little blurred but you get the general idea of the wonderful colour.


Lynda (Granny K) said...

What a wonderful day it has been! I believe the tree is indeed a Sycamore. Lovely pictures. Hope you are enjoying your new camera.

rel said...

first I must say that the photo in your previous post: Village Green at Astbury in Cheshire. Just captured my love of nature completely. I want to enlarge it an have it framed to hang on a wll in my den.
Your photo tales enhanced by your discriptive captions make these spring sojourns so delightful. I can get a preview of what, I hope, awaits my eye and camera lens here in a few weeks time.

We're a little too north for the sycamore here. I was able to enjoy them when we lived in Kentucky and of course when we toured the sycamore lined avenues of France. The espaliered ones in paris and the tall majestic ones of the Loire valley.

Sheila said...

Lovely photos Rowan, and Browning's words always come to me at this time of year.
Your morning walks must give you lots of photo opportunites these days, with so much new growth to see and discover.

Kelli said...

Lovely poem and thank you for taking us along on your morning walk! The flowers are just beautiful!

Ragged Roses said...

Beautiful poem and post - thank you. Isn't it wonderful at the moment. We've got celandines in amongst the forget-me-nots and our first poppy opened this morning!
Kim x

Knot Garden said...

Beautiful photos. It makes me wish I lived near some countryside. There must be so much to see at this time of year. Those celandines are so pretty.

Forgetmenot said...

Beautiful dew drops, like little pearls.

OhSoVintage said...

What lovely pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at them, thankyou for sharing with us. Yes it is a Sycamore. One of my favourite flowers is the bluebell and the scent of an abundance of them in a wood in the early morning is wonderful.

Mary said...

Thank you so much for sharing Browning's magnificent poem. I often quote the first two lines but it's great to read the entire thing. It does make me homesick for Devon though - however will be there in October - hooray!!

Your photos are lovely Rowan - the Spring greens and delicate flower colors are so beautiful, and I can see the dewdrops! How fabulous to have an orchard.

My garden changed overnight due to heavy rains and strong winds - this morning we will have to clean up, pick up, and hose down again! I hope to get delivery of those new garden things purchased last week - they were unable to make it in the bad weather yesterday. So.........please come and visit me later this week to check out the garden again!
Enjoy yourself -

Unknown said...

I just know my mother is all over that bluebell photo!!!!
I dream of fields of blue flowers because of mum...and her English-ness.
Rowan, thank you for this breath of spring. We are still knee deep in cold temps, and no seeds will be sown this week. I pray for the sun! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. xo

Bob said...

We have a few white bluebells down the track where I walk the dogs. Its nice to see all the wild spring flowers starting to bloom, it really does feel like spring when you see them. Bob.

kate said...

The pink anemones are so pretty - I am so used to seeing the white one only. I love your picture of the bluebells - you have captured their colour so perfectly.

And the Browning poem is such a lovely one ... I had to memorize it in grade school, so it has stuck with me all these years.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rowan, what an exquisite post ! I love Robert Browning poems, but didn't know this one (I have immediately copies it in my poems notebook), and your photographs are just as good as ever. You're an artist, and you're offering such an inspiration ! Thanks for that !

Hugs & smiles,