Surprise! It’s Spring

Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!

— Wallace Stevens, quoted in The Daily Post

Yesterday was self’s first walk to the lake in over a month. It’s but a five or 10-minute walk at the most. But self has been busy, and the weather’s been unpredictable.

Yesterday, Esther came to change the sheets. So self took advantage of the break to go out of her cottage. And the first thing she noticed was: close by the cottages, there were suddenly so many flowers! (Has it really been that long since she took a walk? Apparently, it has! Surprise!)

Self had a lovely walk. Spring has truly arrived!

Here are some other beautiful spring shots:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

An Irish Spring: Flowers

Walked around the Centre this morning, and saw more things to post for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: DENSE.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wish 2: Spring, Don’t Come Too Fast!

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is WISH:

THIS WEEK, SHOW US A WISH

It was cold and windy today: fine, brisk, walking weather.

Self was captivated by these daffodils, springing up in bunches in front of the Main House in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (The wind was blowing: you can see from the angle of the stems)

Spring can’t be far away. Which means warmer weather, longer days. Fabulous!

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Daffodils on the Slope In Front of the Main House, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

And yet, look at this picture she took in the early morning, two days ago: it’s only now she notices the filigree of the tree branches, silhouetted against the sky. So beautiful and delicate. When the leaves come back, this scene will be very different. So self feels conflicted: keeping winter’s bones might not be a bad thing! Especially when looking at trees!

If you look at this photograph with some detachment, doesn’t it look like an echocardiogram? Like the lines spit out of a defibrillator? Self means, the sharp up-and-down squiggles?

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The Lake at Annaghmakerrig, Early Morning

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fan Fiction of the Day

The set-up: Katniss is returning to her car after a night class at her community college. And she gets held up by, of all people, PEETA! PEETA! PEETA! Who is a criminal trying to feed a drug habit! Oh my Lord! What? What? What?

. . .  the air smells sweet and fresh, like growth. The street lamps that line my path from the library to my car are dim at best, and there’s no moonlight because there’s a storm on its way. I don’t even have a shadow; I’m followed instead by the restless wind that stirs in the freshly-leafed trees.

Self loves the descriptions!

It really is spring in this part of the world.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Harmonies of Spring

Oh how beautiful is the season of spring!

These yellow daffodils are in the front garden of the MacCallum House in Mendocino Village.

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Daffodils + Spring = Harmony!

More daffodils!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

SEASONS 3: Mendocino, Last Thursday of February 2016

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Self went for a walk around the village.

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Mendocino Village has many examples of whimsical garden art!

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Spring is in the air! This table and chairs was in front of a local beauty salon.

And, for election season, Bernie Sanders would like to extend a warm welcome!

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Every local person self has spoken to so far is a Bernie Sanders supporter. Clearly, Mendocino is HIS town.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Seasons: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 8

It warmed up this week.

Self is still in Mendocino.

She likes walking to the bookstore on Main Street, Gallery Bookshop, and then taking pictures of the headlands. Because she was trying to find subjects for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, SEASONS, she focused on the flowers in the meadow in front of her:

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Flowers are popping up in the meadow across from the Gallery Bookshop on Main Street, Mendocino.

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More Flowers, Same Meadow

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These flowers are tiny. Self had to do an extreme close-up. Good thing her fingers didn’t shake as much as they usually do.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

TIME: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 6

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — TIME — is an interesting one: Sylvain Landry had the exact same challenge on his blog this week. For Sylvain, self chose a picture of the notebook she carries around with her everywhere. It’s a habit of hers to jot down random observations, snippets of conversation, names of streets. More often than not, these random details, these overheard conversations, work their way into her stories.

For the Daily Post Photo Challenge, self decided to think a little differently. She decided she’d show the bare, leafless trees of New York’s Central Park, in late November/ early December. What better to show the passing of the seasons (and of time) than bare trees?

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Central Park, Early December 2015

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Really liked seeing these compost bins scattered around the park!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Muse 2: Tryone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is MUSE.

This is self’s second time at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. She came back because she did so much good work when she was here last year, in May.

This year, she has a novel to finish. It’s very slow going, but she’s lucky she can get to work on it here.

Last night, self decided to take a walk. The sun doesn’t set until 10 p.m. or thereabouts, which is quite a thrill: more daylight hours, yes!!!

Last year, she remembers there was a little flock of swans that used to hang out by the lake. But she hasn’t seen one, not one, since she got here. Perhaps it’s the season.

No More Swans

No More Swans

Anyhoo, self loves being underneath the giant trees. You don’t understand green — all the varying shades of it — until you’ve been to Ireland.

Trees, Summer Evening

Trees, Summer Evening

And there are woods out here, so many woods. So far, she’s had very little time to explore. Hopefully, later, she will.

The woods last night. Such spindly tree trunks! Nothing at all like the woods up by Mendocino.

The woods last night. Such spindly tree trunks! Nothing at all like the woods up by Mendocino.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Off-Season 2: Dandelions at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Self loves London. Absolutely loves, loves, loves. If she were to spend her last farthing, she’d want to do it in this city.

It’s not the most beautiful (although there’s plenty of beauty around). It’s not even the most affable. It rains a lot. But it has a hold on her heart (all the more so now because — hello, Victorian Steampunk! The London Institute of the Clave! Shadowhunters! The Infernal Devices! Will Herondale!)

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is OFF-SEASON.

OFF-SEASON as in: Umbrellas in winter? Balaclavas in July?

The Hunger Games has been very much on self’s mind.

Why? Because yesterday, in Cambridge, friend Dodo told self that another former classmate had visited Cambridge, and she and Dodo had gone to the Harry Potter museum just outside London.

And self wondered when that much-ballyhooed Hunger Games theme park was ever going to open?

Anyhoo, today self went across London to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was crowded, of course, but not off-putting.

Self decided to go see the WHAT IS LUXURY exhibit.

The exhibit includes a fabulous artwork made out of real dandelion seeds, embedded with LED lights to make a chandelier.

Self associates dandelions with The Hunger Games because of Peeta Mellark (one of her all-time favorite literary characters). Katniss, for those who are completely out of the zeitgeist, ends up with Peeta in the end because he is her “dandelion in the spring.”

And, hello, it is summer. Or, anyway, past the season for dandelions.

So here’s a shot of a fabulous chandelier at the Victoria and Albert:

At the Victoria and Albert Museum: Real dandelion seeds were harvested before opening into

At the Victoria and Albert Museum: Real dandelion seeds were harvested before opening into “clocks” and then were individually applied to LED lights to make this chandelier.

In keeping with the rather soggy weather, here’s the London Eye ferris wheel. Ferris wheels symbolize summer (at least they do for self), but because of London’s grey skies, the symbolism today (Self took this picture while meandering across the Waterloo Bridge) felt rather muted. So, here’s a most somber-looking ferris wheel:

The London Eye Viewed from Waterloo Bridge

The London Eye Viewed from Waterloo Bridge

Anyhoo, yesterday in Cambridge, it was rainy. Dodo took self on a punt ride on the river Cam. It was so wet that we had to bring umbrellas and hide under blankets. Self even had to buy a raincoat for the occasion. Here’s a shot of the inside of our punt. A great time was had by all:

Dodo (who lives in Cambridge) and Self in a Punt! On a Rainy Afternoon in Cambridge, UK.

Dodo (who lives in Cambridge) and Self in a Punt! On a Rainy Afternoon in Cambridge, UK.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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