Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

Bare and beautiful

Clustered branches on trees still bare

of the season’s foliage stripped and spare

but for stick figures on a tangled mass of limbs

looking undressed where none can hide.

The morning light and heat from the sun

warms what was clothed under a wintry sky.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

I took this shot early in the morning about a couple of weeks ago in my back yard when the sun was just coming up. Cropping and cutting out a part of the houses in the picture helped to give it more emphasis on only the trees and the sky. We now have new buds and small leaves forming on the same trees because of our much warmer weather.

Posted March 27, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Emerging spring

 

 

A new day’s dawn wakes from its sleep,

pink and orange hued clouds streak across the sky.

A burst of color that slowly wanes

emerges into the sun, now brighter and more blue.

Tiny buds and blooms, and grass that now turns green

shows the promise of new life

where frolicking squirrels, and little birds

all busy with work and play

rebuild their nest and tend their young.

A new season, fresh and fragrant spring

has arrived and pushed away the winter blues.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

 

 

 

 

Posted March 21, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Profusion in pink

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Profusion in pink,

and trees, their limbs full and green 

shelter birds that sing.

 ~~~

The sun is shining.

May comes, and with it new life,

expectancy, hope.

~~~

Is it the season,

or the newness of things fresh?

Spring; I savor all. 

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Securing my own ‘nest’

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Spring brings everyone outdoors once warm weather hits like a brilliant sun on a clear blue sky. Everything seems new again; blooms with delicate petals opening like arms raised to the sky in praise. Grass and trees with new buds so small it is hard to see with the naked eye, but slowly we begin to see new growth and even the birds and small game come out to celebrate the new season.

This squirrel nest is in our neighbor’s tree which hangs its low branches over the fence and into our yard, so from our back yard swing I am able to see the trees as they turn green in the spring, or yellow gold in autumn.

I have watched and wondered about whether the nest might get knocked out by a strong chinook wind, or blowing snow storm. When I saw no activity near it I even wondered if it was abandoned. But, one recent morning I noticed a squirrel climbing out of it as it hopped down onto the branches below.

Our dog, Maggie loves to go after the squirrels in our yard who are plentiful anymore, often hurrying along on the top of the fence racing to the end before she can lunge at them, but they know she is not fast enough or large enough to gain advantage over them so they tease her, screeching, twitching and snapping their tails as if slapping at her. They seem carefree, unafraid of anything happening around them. I watch them, and think, what if we could have that same feeling of unconcern in our world and take each day without anxiety, or stress.

Life can be unpredictable, never certain. We face the realities of our times, and the circumstances in which we find ourselves in, and our world can seem in jeopardy of falling apart. It can be our home, our comfort zone, or our very life that can hang in the balance because there is no monopoly on our tomorrows, only a down payment on our todays. What we put into our ‘todays’ can affect what we leave behind. A legacy that defines us, like a footprint left in this world where we’ve walked can make a difference. Recent events, terrorist attacks, political upheaval, the election woes with its unpredictable outcome, whatever it is, catastrophic storms or events can bring down our nest, our world. A strong wind can shake us, upset our nest, but a storm we have no control over can destroy us.

There is much said about securing our borders, our transportation systems, our investments, economy.” but, it is my own ‘nest,’ my own foundation that I am more focused on building and securing. Sure, I will make my mark, vote my choice, express my voice, but all else I leave in God’s hands where I can trust His judgement, His control, not that of a campaigning candidate, or world leader.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016) 

 

 

Still a flower in bloom

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The sun smiles upon

a flower and it opens;

God smiles upon us,

and it shows how great His love

For a flower still to bloom

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)


Waiting for spring

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I sit in my swing and train my eyes

to the sky as blue as a robin’s egg,

and wish for a lawn all fragrant and green

as the freshly cut flowers’ leaves and stems.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

like two doves on a branch in the tree

waiting also for warm weather like me.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

and let the warm sun bathe my face

thinking all the ways I will enjoy warm days

while old snow melts leaving no trace.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

looking at the ways I can garden and bring

new life to the roots of all that lay

dormant through the winter until this May

when the scent of lilac and roses I smell

while I sit in my swing and enjoy the spring,

and listen to the choir of birds that sing.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

Life found where we least expect it

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Nature won’t give up

on what it breathes life into;

but comes back, stronger

___________

One and a half years after the disastrous flood of September 2013 in our town in northern Colorado we have amazing sights that surprise us like this old cracked tree stump that was surrounded by destroyed trees and washed out trails, roads and demolished buildings. But, last summer while on the walking trail we spotted this old tree stump cut down where others had been trimmed or uprooted from the flood, many that literally floated down the raging river during the flood. Thinking the tender green shoots were growing up from the ground near it, I decided to get a closer look at it and found that they were actually growing from out of the cracks or crevices in the stump. I was glad I had my camera along.

I was immediately reminded of a favorite scripture in Job 14: 7 of the Old Testament that says, “At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” (NIV) And I thought about how often I had given up on dreams or things in my life because I felt as if they were ‘dead in the water’, like the trees that washed away in the flood, or having been cut down of ever producing any life or fruit again. But, God’s word is true. It is the same promise for today as it was in the days of Job, and there is the faith and hope that new life, new growth can begin again and we will bear new fruit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Eye to eye

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Like me, this lone dove

on our roof waits patiently

for spring to arrive

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)


‘Parable’ of the honey bee


Parable of the honey bee

 

Clinging to life it holds on, but failing, its wings heavy from the pollen it carries it offers up;

Others hover near gathering their own and wait respectfully, knowing its fate.

When it’s time the bee succumbs, and others carry on producing what they know to do.

The life of the bee is short; their purpose vital, crucial to the environment.

It is nature’s way, a part of God’s perfect plan.

Like the common bee we live our lives too, within a span of time.

We gather what is important to us. But, it is what we offer up that is the essence

of God’s spirit in us, as a sweet nectar, and aroma that permeates the land.

________________________

Scripture reference – 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV translation)

Footnotes:  The above photo is one I took in my back yard garden while watching this bee as it died. I have a good friend who has a bee hive operation as a hobby and watched him at work with his bees. I became very interested in the things I learned about bees, more so than in the past when careful to stand away from them and not be stung. The recent experience while watching and studying bees inspired me to write this ‘parable’, a short devotion about the things we have in common with a mere honey bee, and whether we seek for ourselves those things most important to us, or whether we ‘offer up’ and give back what matters most; our relationship to God, to others, and to our world in general. I love reading the stories and parables in Matthew that Jesus taught his disciples and thought the bee story made a good illustration to use. Comments on this story are welcome, as always with my stories, posts and poems.

Joyce E. Johnson © 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spring; my favorite season

Below is my poetry submission for the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge of writing and posting a poem a day. If time allows I will to try to keep up, and post one a day.  Here is this one for the day. A Haiku poem.

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Blue skies and green grass

flowers in bloom, birds singing

Spring; finally here

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Cactus blooms in the Rockies

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When I and my family were up at our Glacier View mountain property over Memorial Day weekend I brought my cameras up, as they pretty much go everywhere with me now, especially up there to our lot. With all the moisture and late snow storms we’ve had the last two to three months the foothills were the greenest I have seen them in years. When we got to our lot, above 9,000 ft. elevation even the wildflowers were already in bloom. One of the types of blooming plants we have up there is this kind of mountain cactus that thrives through all kinds of weather. This one bloom and others like it are at their best right now, with the colorful pretty shades of pink, lavender and yellow. Many years ago I dug up one of our large cactus plants with beautiful yellow blooms on it and transported it back home to Loveland in a bucket with its own soil, then transplanted it with the same soil and mixed in some fresh potting soil. Because these cactus plants have very sharp needles and are too prickly to handle with bare hands I put on leather work gloves to work them carefully down into the soil and large clay pot. The cactus thrived and lived for years, blooming every late spring with beautiful yellow blooms. I took pictures of it in full bloom, but have misplaced that photo and did not have it handy to scan and upload it to this post, so am using this photo to show one of the cactus types that grow in our Colorado Rockies. We have many other wildflower plants too that grow up there and are in full bloom by July. Last year when our mountains suffered so terribly with uncontrolled wildfires that burnt thousands of acres our lot came close to burning too in the High Park fire in June, 2012, but it was spared. That was definitely an answered prayer and when we were able to get back up there again three weeks after the fire was contained I spotted some of our faithful, hearty little wildflowers blooming among the dried, scorched pine needles like these Daisy type blooms. It is sometimes the little things we often overlook because they are/were always there, but in the midst of all the burned areas, a single flower or cactus plant thrives through all, and green shoots come back to remind me to never take any of it for granted.

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_______________

Joyce E. Johnson

Making mud pies


From mud pies to gardening I still love to play in the dirt. There are lots of ways to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. Sixty years ago when I was six my mom would give me her old canning jar lids, spoons and bowls to play with in the dirt out beside our house. And of course there was my little ‘oven’ to bake them in: a cardboard box. My ‘cooking and baking’ process was simple. I started with the ‘freshest ingredients’ I could find; what I called ‘clean dirt’ and pulled out the unwanted things like weeds, little bugs or rocks, if any so my pies would be smooth and edible (for me that is). Once I had mixed just the right amount of water with the right amount of dirt I tasted my mixture to test its consistency, then if satisfied I patted them down into the lids and baked them in a hot, slow sun. When dry, I emptied my lids of the coarse over baked pie and would start all over again. When I told my grown girls that I ate some of my own mud pies when I was a child, they could not believe the story from one who hates insects and runs after the bug spray can at the first sight of an ant invasion. Now, when I play with my little grandchildren in the dirt planting a garden or potting flowers I can share my mud pie stories with them and let them know that a little bit of dirt does not hurt, and that mud is a part of nature, one of those things God gave us in this great big outdoors to enjoy. So, for old times sake I went outside and once again made an old-fashioned mud pie in a canning jar lid just for the fun of it, and it brought back memories of those days when I was six. So, here is a photo of my mud pie, and for certain I will show a picture of it to my grandchildren and let them know that making mud pies can be a lot of fun, and tasting them, not so bad, either. 🙂 But, I really did do quite a bit of real gardening this week too. The below photo is one of my potting projects. It was fun playing in that big barrel of dirt, too. 🙂

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Joyce E. Johnson


A seed planted…

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A seed planted, hides

In soil watered till blossomed

Kissed by the sun, grows

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson

DANDELIONS!

DANDELIONS!


Not the bloom I sought,

And too much of what I’ve seen.

Spring: It has arrived.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

Where are the nuts?


Hey! Where are the nuts?

This is not acceptable!

And birds eat this stuff?

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson

Spring Roses


Garden fresh bright red

Roses fill my crystal vase

Bringing spring indoors

________________

Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

Sunny Days


I can hardly wait

For bright sunny days to come

To plant my spring blooms

_____________________

Joyce E. Johnson

Where is SPRING?


Carved from wood, this bear

Stands draped in a shawl of snow

Waiting for the thaw

____________

Note:  The above photo is one of our bear that does sentry duty in our back yard.  But, sometimes the birds and squirrels  will use it as a perch.  🙂 After our big (12 in.) snow storm on Monday we thought it looked so funny with its large helmet of snow, yet the nose and mouth was so distinct. My husband, Wayne took the photo.  I thought it would be fun to do a haiku poem.

Joyce E. Johnson

THE PROMISE OF SPRING



When I look out my window

And I see fresh snow

I wonder when, and where is spring.

But, to every season

And for all, I know

There is a right time

For all that blooms has yet to open.

Maybe not now: they are but buds,

But nurtured they will grow,

And with that they promise

That spring is here,

The season will blossom,

And the time is right

For my lilies to bloom.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson – 2013


A Sweet Smelling Fragrance

A Sweet Smelling Fragrance

By: Joyce E. Johnson

Like the sweet-smelling fragrance

of lilacs in bloom, so is His essence that

wafts forth from my soul;

It permeates the air of my

all-consuming space.

I stand in awe, at the wonder of it all

how He could create one such as me,

  and love unconditionally with infinite grace.

 *************

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