Natural confusion…


Late autumn bloom of a usually spring blooming tree. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The rest of Chicago is reacting “properly” to the arriving chills of freezing temperatures while parts of this tree is confused. Most of the SPRING flowering tree is dormant, as is proper for November. But confused by our unusually long, warm days of autumn this year some of it’s branches believe springtime is on the horizon. It is not unusual for perennial plants to have a second, cool season bloom period; but this is the first time I’ve witnessed a second season bloom of a tree.

Cheer for Cherry blossoms…


Walking along Lake Michigan’s shores in Chicago Lincoln Park I was graced with the springtime explosion of these bright cheery blossoms. “Hope springs eternal”; but here spring brings forth eternal hope.

Budding Cherry blossom. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Cluster of spring blooms on tree. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Layers of loveliness…


Layers and layers of Dahlia petals. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Took a walk this morning and was stopped still by these blossoms. They appear to be the treasured tuber-growing Dahlias. Their dainty charm requires that tubers be dug and preserved carefully during cold winters and replanted in the warming spring days.

The Dahlia you brought to our isle
Your praises forever shall speak

‘Mid gardens as sweet as your smile
And colour as bright as your cheek.

–Lord Holland (1773–1840)

The flower reminds me of layers of petticoats worn in days of yore. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

Ahhhhh……the lovely Dahlia. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Springtime greens…


Faith sometimes wane during the grey days of winter. If springtime seems soooooooo long ago, I offer this image from 2016 to stir your thoughts. The Iris‘ violet flower takes backstage to its crisp green new leaves. Look closely to the flower’s petal on the far right and you’ll spot a newly emerged springtime grasshopper. The background echos the green hues with greening trees and a green tinge to the South Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Bearded Iris brings promise of warmer days along South Pond in Lincoln Pond, Chicago. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Time is evidenced in this image showing that spring has been progressing rapidly. The Iris bloom appears to be one of the last of this season; the other blooms are dried and wilted. Iris is one of the first blooms after a long winter’s dormancy. Soon blooms will be displaced with prolific green progress.

Seasonal modifications…


Several posts ago I showed images of activities in Lincoln Park after our first measurable snowfall. Here is one more plus some photographs taken last spring. Quite a difference between the two seasons. Each season brings its own recreational happenings.

Snowman building is a team effort. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Another couple with their pet walk along the lakefront path, avoiding the more populated bike/pedestrian path further west. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The lawn areas pf Lincoln Park are often too wet for people to use in the early spring. While people stay on pathways this time of year a pair of ducks relax in one of many vernal pools.

The lawn areas of Lincoln Park are often too wet for people to use in the early spring. While people stay on pathways this time of year a pair of ducks relax in one of many vernal pools.

Hardy resilience…


Tough and strong are not the usual adjectives used to describe Daffodils, yet they perfectly describe their nature. Their bulbs are considered lasting in the garden because they are ignored by squirrels who prefer to dig up tulip bulbs. My focus on these spring beauties is on their stem and flowers’ resilience. Warm days followed by snow are typical of Chicago’s springtime weather. This can test both the heartiest Midwesterner as well as spring blooming plants who all seek the warmth and cheer of springtime sunshine.

Over the years I have learned to resist running outside to rescue daffodils lying on the ground frozen in a coat of white. It seemed a kindness to cut them, place them in a vase filled with warm water, and set them nearby to ensure their beauty would last a few more days. I underestimated their resilience.

These images show their falling blooms under the weight of fresh snow and ice followed by their return to upright stance and brilliance the following storm-free day. This analogy serves me well when I feel that trials are weighing me down. They may melt away in time if I stay strong. This spring these blooms have survived three consecutive rounds of sun and snow followed by more sun. Wow!

041316_1838_Hardyresili4.jpg

Snow toppled Daffodils. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

White Daffodil under frosted snow. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

White Daffodil in the sunshine after the storm. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Yellow Daffodil weighed down with snow. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

041316_1838_Hardyresili3.jpg

Hardy return of Daffodil’s blossoms. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg