Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spring Scenes from Pennsylvania

Maybe it's just me getting older, but our past winter was one of the longest, coldest, and snowiest that I can remember and lingered on into what should have been the change over into spring. I have always enjoyed what each season brings and am thankful to live in a place where I get to see all four seasons transpire. If anything, a winter like the one we just came out of will make you appreciate the 'good' weather even more.

I've always thought that the time of bud break was one of the more beautiful times of the year, when the forested hills took on the faint glow of green, red, pink, white, and orange. Perhaps not as spectacular as the show autumn puts on, but a close second in my book.

Much like in the fall, the conflict of warm vs. cold creates days of intermittent sun and rain (or snow) accompanied with wind and the dark dramatic background of the clouds when the sun pops out. These are usually the best days to see or even photograph a rainbow and I was lucky enough to do so on one such day this spring.

One of the highlights of the change of seasons, and a sure sign that spring is indeed here for good, is the arrival of our migrant birds. From robins to tanagers, they arrive sporting just about every color you can imagine. One of my favorite places to view and photograph warblers is the Quehanna Wild Area in north central PA and just about every variety seems to pass through at one time or another.

Common Yellowthroat

Magnolia Warbler
Other than the warblers, the influx of Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, and the like add a splash of color to our woods and fields that have been lacking it for so long and provide an accent to the new tree blossoms and wildflowers that are suddenly abundant.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting
Eventually the peak of spring begins to fade and the transition to summer begins. For me this is a time where I can't help but begin to think of fall (my favorite season) which is now only a few short months away. Still, there is plenty to observe and enjoy in the midst of summer even through the heat and humidity. Each season brings it's own kind of beauty if you take the time to look.

For me there is an air of uncertainty about the coming seasons as some of the things I enjoy the most have more than likely changed forever. As the saying goes, nothing good ever lasts. We move on, adapt, and find our way I suppose. The photo below, while I wasn't thinking it when I took it, has proven to be very ominous. Perhaps the scarred remains of something that once brought so much light...