Hallelujah Chorus

IMG_1675After a cold, dark winter of gray-brown dormancy, the earth barely breathing, waiting faithfully for renewal and warmth that certainly must come, spring starts slowly; then quickly, it becomes a rushing torrent of life. Brought on by moisture and warmth, the wild exuberance of shoots pushing out from beneath leaf mold, unfolding leaves and birdsong, it is the hallelujah chorus of spring.

IMG_1938I find the coming of spring such a joyous time for the soul. It is rebirth after death, redemption after a trial that has pulled energy from one’s core.

On a day like today, dry and sunny, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature in the low 70s, life seems just about perfect. I walk at least a foot off the ground, treading on air.

And speaking of air, it is so fresh, smelling of earth and newly formed oxygen flowing from the vivid green grass and millions of tiny green leaves that are expanding throughout the land. IMG_1852My lawn is a mass of purple and white violets, dotted with golden dandelion suns and naturalized narcissi. Gil-over-the-ground, ajuga, and wild veronica are budded up and starting to bloom in shades of blue-violet. Sprigs of June aster are forming, to come along in the next few weeks.

IMG_5055The gardens are masses of frothy candytuft, daffodils, diminutive iris, bleeding hearts and primroses. IMG_1906Fothergilla has started to bloom and is covered with tiny, native pollinators and the Korean spicebush viburnum perfumes the yard with its exotic fragrance. The lilac flower buds are swelling, as are the rhododendron, beauty soon to come.

The hummingbird has returned and visits the quince, spicebush and bleeding hearts. Chipping sparrows are making a nest in the quince and I watch one pecking at ants along the sidewalk. Catbirds, as well as a pair of cardinals, are nesting in the hemlock hedge and eastern phoebes have set up housekeeping in the wood shed.

IMG_1884In the woods, hairy woodpeckers drum on dead wood, telegraphing their territory throughout the forest. Ovenbirds, titmice and chestnut-sided warblers call to establish the same end. We still have a bird feeder strung high in an oak tree, which brings in chickadees and a multitude of goldfinches, whose mewling calls fill the air.

IMG_4939 - Version 2Cardinals and mourning doves flutter in to feed on the ground below the feeder, while the male doves persistently coo in the branches above. Any perceived danger is escaped with an explosion of wings.

I take it all in as I move about the yard, gardening, hanging laundry or sitting on the deck. I feel grateful to witness this exuberance of life that living in the country affords, such a blessing it is.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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90 Responses to Hallelujah Chorus

  1. arlingwoman says:

    You’re living in paradise! Of course, it just happens that you know because you look.

  2. maureenc says:

    What a wonderland you live in. Balm for the soul after along hard Winter

  3. den169 says:

    Beautiful presentation of pictures and words. Glorious!

  4. MK says:

    I think your gardens are making their 4th and 5th curtain call for this celebration.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you kindly! They are just gearing up. The big show is always near June with peonies, lilacs, columbine (I could go on and on!) I love it when everything is fresh and new and nothing has been nibbled or succumbed to mold or the many other things that happen to plants. It helps if I tell myself that everything is food, sooner or later.

  5. Jim Ruebush says:

    Same explosion here in IA. It happens so fast. I try to get out for a walk each day to see the changes.

    Your gardens are beautiful.

  6. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Such amazing color!! I love all your flowers and plants. I love the picture of the unfurling fern frond and also how the male cardinal is looking at the female. Soooo cute! Hallelujah indeed!

  7. It’s a lovely way to describe the unfurling of spring. Lovely photos, too, Eliza. I am impressed with the first one especially. Happy spring to you!

  8. natalyadrian says:

    Lovely pics Eliza! The weather has been fantastic here too. It’s so hard to concentrate on work! Cheers, Nataly

  9. Karen says:

    Spring is such a wonderful time of year, I can just imagine how you feel, beautiful words and images!

  10. You always give us a bit of paradise! 🙂

  11. Kris P says:

    There is that moment in spring when everything takes off and your heart grows too big for your chest. I know it too but, here in SoCal, it usually occurs in February. Enjoy it!

  12. Brian Skeys says:

    Your words and pictures beautifully capture the joys of Spring. I love the colourful picture looking across your lawn.

  13. I just love your (colorful) lawn, what a beautiful garden you have, yes… you are blessed!

  14. Lovely pictures with beautifully written description of the arrival of spring. Wonderful lawn

  15. Pauline says:

    Nature is wonderful, but not everyone has eyes that see it.

  16. spanishwoods says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful.

  17. Hallelujah is right. 🙂

  18. Brenda says:

    We are experiencing the same exuberance here in Maine. It makes me want to dance! A hummingbird returned yesterday and our phoebe is nesting in our tractor enclosure. When I was growing up, my mother always planted a Korean spicebush viburnum (“The Carlesii”-sounds like it’s from Game of Thrones) right outside our front door so that we would get hit with the scent coming and going. I would like to do the same here. I heard that there was some pest hitting the viburnums in New England. Have you had any problems with yours?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, unfortunately, I have lost my native viburnums to a European beetle that kills them outright within two seasons. info: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/viburnum_leaf_beetle.htm
      Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to bother with fuzzy-leaved viburnums like V. carlesii and V. plicatum f. tomentosum, which may not be native, but they sure are beautiful. I love that your mom planted V. carlesii near her front door. A woman after my own heart!

      • Brenda says:

        Thanks. I have a soft spot for the carlesii, so will be on the lookout to buy one. I am not sure why my mother loved the spicebush so much–most of her plant choices were rather dull and practical. It’s an odd quirk that doesn’t seem to really fit her, but what do we really know of other people?

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Very true, esp. those close to us! 😉

  19. Laurie Graves says:

    Wonderful post, wonderful pictures! Loved seeing the goings-on in your yard.

  20. srickman2014 says:

    So much beauty Eliza! Those first warm days of spring when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and green finally appears are what make winter bearable!

  21. Kathy Sturr says:

    Oh, I just “feel” this post Eliza! Yesterday I forego my duties at the Park and spent the entire afternoon up to 7pm in my garden! A baltimore oriole visited my hummingbird feeder as did the hummingbird and rose breasted grosbeaks are passing through. It was the best day ever! I planted some perennials, weeded, pruned, mulched … still trying to clean up all the beds, still not done but I liken it to “savoring spring.” I try my best not to feel pressured or rushed. I even moved some of my “seedlings” (now huge) to the greenhouse. Glorious! I had to look up a few of these flowers you mentioned – not sure I really know what june aster is – not satisfied with the google results. I have ground ivy everywhere and I must say I do appreciate its tiny violet blooms this time of year among the violets and forget-me-nots. I am so happy that you live in paradise and hey, thanks for sharing it!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Sounds like you had a great day in the garden yesterday. I love getting lost in garden work and sometimes have to be reminded to come inside for a break!
      Originally I had listed the Latin names of flowers in my post, but I deleted them because I thought they ‘weighed down’ the feeling I wanted to convey. What I refer to as June aster is also known as Robin’s Plaintain (Erigeron pulchellus). Sorry for the confusion and fruitless google search! I appreciate you letting me know that you enjoyed the post. As a fellow gardener, I know you share that spring enthusiasm. 🙂

  22. OH for the burst of Spring of LIFE!!! Wonderful photography, Eliza! How glorious Spring is!! ❤

  23. How wonderful Eliza, a piece of paradise you’ve got there.

  24. Ann @Ann Edwards Photography says:

    such a sweet little red bird, is it a cardinal?

  25. Gillian says:

    Spring has arrived at last! I am so happy for you Eliza. They way you describe your garden is beautiful as are your photos… as always!

  26. Cathy says:

    Your spring garden is absolutely glorious Eliza, flowers and all! 🙂

  27. arlingwoman says:

    That fiddlehead looks like a just born calf.

  28. How lovely. ❤

  29. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I would just love to sit on one of those wooden chairs and admire your lawn – how fabulous it looks.

  30. Beautywhizz says:

    Beautiful garden filled with lovely plants.

  31. Maria F. says:

    Very nicely written. there’s just so much color. Those ferns are so perfect.

  32. I can feel the energy! What a lovely lawn to admire from those chairs. Not heard ground ivy called Gil-over-the-ground before.

  33. Robin says:

    I love your lawn!! It’s a gorgeous riot of spring colors. I think Lisa is right. You live in paradise. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Robin. I have to agree, 😉 and can you see why I refuse to mow? 😀

      • Robin says:

        I wouldn’t mow that either! 😀 Our lawn in NE Ohio had similar colors and flowers so we put off mowing for as long as possible. We didn’t have tick problems there so that also made a difference. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever saw a tick while we lived there.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        We didn’t know how good we had it back then – tick-free living. Now, even with constant vigilance, I still get bit. It is like a nightmare. Most of the time, I accept and manage (there is no other viable choice), but if I stop and think about it, I risk losing it! “Don’t think about it – go about your day, focus on the good stuff!” 😉
        Makes winter look better and better… 😦

  34. Reblogged this on A Dose of Inspiration and commented:
    Beautiful photos & words! I love the changing of the seasons and am so happy when Spring blossoms each year. It’s so beautiful with all the color and life around and the seemingly endless sunshine. It’s inspiring. I love being reminded of beginnings & rebirth. Thank You for sharing!! 😀 ❤

  35. Gracefully Global says:

    Seems like heaven! So glad spring has finally come. But you’ve painted such a good picture of it, I think I can live vicariously through you (since it is only 50 degrees and rainy in Vienna right now).

  36. petal & pins says:

    Your garden looks like a magical place to be in what ever the season!

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