Sunday, May 28, 2017

An Interesting May

May is to spring what October is to fall: over-the-top beautiful. (A niece of mine recently said: "Isn't it amazing to live in a world where trees turn pink for a couple of weeks every year?" Yes - it is.)

This most beautiful of months even had a most beautiful day: Thursday the 18th. The lilacs were in full bloom, flowering crab and redbud trees were miracles of pink and rose and red, creeping phlox spilled like pastel waterfalls over emerald lawns, winter cress shone like sunshine in the fields, and new-leaved maples and oaks sported every shade of green, all under a bright blue sky with just the right amount of slow-sailing, puffy white clouds. A day I wished I could package up and send to all my friends and loved ones (or, better yet, have them here to share the joy).

These glories were observed, I regret to say, not from the seat of a bicycle, but from behind the windows of a car, thanks to a surgery that happened early in the month. (Not major surgery - but even a smallish surgery, coming on top of flu, can really pack a wallop. Dang.)


A quick look back at the last ride of April, when a lingering cough was my only lament:

Clockwise from top left: lichen, wild apple blossom,
wild plum blossom, pussytoes, baby maple leaves

A tom turkey strutting and displaying in the woods near the road

Then came May, and with it the joys of modern medicine.


Why is surgery so depressing? Is it the after-effects of anesthesia, or simply a reaction to having one's innards pulled about by sharp tools and burned by lasers? Or a combination of the two?

And then there's the frustration caused by weakness. Knowing that wildflowers are out there blooming, and not being able to get to them, is (for me) like having really good friends in town for only a few days and not being able to see them.

One evening Mr. M drove me outside of town to a spot where I hoped this flower would be blooming:

Jacob's Ladder or Greek Valerian

The blossoms had closed up for the evening, but I was glad to have caught them before they disappeared. In all my rides, I've never seen them growing anywhere else, and they've become a favourite part of May.

We stopped by the marsh where the kingcups grow:

And on the way home caught this apple tree against the sunset:


There was plenty of May beauty nearer at hand, too. Lilacs in the yard:

Pine buds glowing in the morning sun:

And wild columbine next to the garage:


Two new patterns were published this month, in Love of Crochet Summer 2017:

The Sandbar Shawlette, a lacy, bead-edged, crescent-shaped shawl worked in a soft, almost flannel-like cotton yarn:

Photo copyright Love of Crochet

Below are the original swatch (upper left), and the completed project on the blocking board:

Also published was the River Rock Necklace, worked from chain-stitch and simple knots:

Photo copyright Love of Crochet

Here are the original sample (left), and the finished commissioned necklace before mailing:

These projects were worked last August and September, which seems like a lifetime ago.

Some newer commissions kept me busy in May, including a very exciting project that will debut later this year.


Yesterday I could stand it no longer; I had to have a wildflower fix. Gingerly and with trepidation, after a month of no riding, I got back on the bike. It was probably the slowest ride I've ever taken, and certainly one of the shortest, but I ran into plenty of old friends.

Rosy wild geranium:

Tiny stitchwort:

Daisy fleabane - this one just three inches tall and almost hidden in the grass, but already blooming:


Dame's Rocket, the glory of roadsides throughout late May and early June:

Black Medick, with its miniscule clover-like blossoms:

A wild berry vine in bloom:

Honeysuckle in several shades (here we have cream and rose):

Bonus photo of picturesque old shed:

Golden Alexanders, showing signs of spittlebug occupation:

And the final shot before I had to turn back - red-twig dogwood in bloom:

An uncomfortable ride, but worth it. :)


And here we are on the cusp of June (hard to believe, isn't it?). The exuberance of early spring is past, and flowering shrubs and trees are settling into their workaday green. The beauties to come will be smaller and quieter, but worth seeking out nonetheless.

One last memory from early in May - young ash leaves glowing in the morning sun:

How was your May?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~