Spring is close by

In eleven days we mark the first day of spring and while many places still feel like winter, I though I would share a few surprises from yesterdays trip home after dropping my daughter off in Santa Cruz. By all accounts it was a beautiful day with rain showers and periodic breaks of sunshine, with pockets of warmth, followed by strong winds and even a down pouring of hail. And I loved every minute of it.

Just north of Santa Cruz but before Davenport I came upon a field of blue flowers bathing in the sun. Cars were speeding by as I made my way down an embankment and then up the hill. For the next half hour or so, I stood, photographing the flowers, which after many years simply spread unabated into a visual spectacle.

I was on my way to the cove where upon my last visit during a heavy storm I discovered the two heart-shaped stones. Since then I had a strong yearning to visit this location as I felt it had been calling me all these weeks.

The opening to the coastal access is nested between eucalyptus trees and easily missed. The wind was blowing hard and I felt under-dressed even with a heavy jacket. On my way to the shoreline, a rain shower erupted, but I remained undaunted and continued on. As I reached the edge of the cliff, the rain stopped and I began witnessing nature’s impressive display of light, clouds, and a rainbow.

Tansy-leaved Evening Primrose

On the way down to the cove, I noticed between the grasses a yellow flower beaming with joy. It seemed to be shouting for attention as strong gusts of wind had it swinging back and forth, shaking any drops of water from its yellow petals. There were a few more individual clusters of evening primrose a little further on, however a number of their flowers had been battered by previous heavy rainfall, that the petals were damaged.

After gathering a few large pebbles for the garden and finding another heart shaped rock, I continued to drive north towards Pigeon Point Light House. Just before the official entrance to the lighthouse, I pulled over on to a dirt road the field hands use to gain access, so that I could photograph the ocean and the dramatic cloud formation that was unfolding.
The ground was soft and soaking wet as I made my way towards the ridge. Sheltered in a thicket of shrubs I noticed something bright and after a quick glance I proceeded onward towards my objective, knowing I would return to the where nature held a surprise.

Tough-leaved Iris

Though I already knew a future post about this trip would be forthcoming, I decided that I could not keep to myself natures treasure of a single blue iris emerging from the surrounding darkness and shinning in the rays of a late afternoon sun. I needed to share, bringing some cheer to those still suffering winters hold, even though we to are still in our midst of a northern California winter. I still had one more place to visit before heading home. The hour was getting late, my appearance a mess and though very tired, my spirit held firm. Next stop, Bean Hollow.

By now the winds had increased, the heights of waves multiplied from earlier in the day, and their ferocity had also become more pronounced. I headed on down the steps onto a beach of tiny pebbles, watching a group of small birds chasing a retreating wave, while collecting shells the ocean had surrendered. Without warning, I was standing in the middle of a brief hailstorm. Once it passed, I took a few more photographs of the setting sun and then returned home.

This day would not have been possible if I did not take my daughter back to school. I would have not experienced the beauty and drama of nature as I did and the adventure does not end there. For back home there waited another surprise, a letter from a concerned friend, who knew of my medical procedure of last week.

Eva Macie — A Creative Life

Eva Macie from A Creative Life, sent me a beautiful hand made card that she had crafted with loving care. A collage of different papers, speckled with a little bit of fiber and dashes of gold leaf, a few lines and an outline of a heart. All I can say is that it was the crowning of my day, making it a most memorable one indeed.

Anna Mavromatis — my Ephemera . . .

As I bring this post to a conclusion, I wish to publicly express an earlier joy that arrived without any expectations in the mail a couple of weeks ago. It came from Anna Mavromatis, my Ephemera . . ., in response to receiving full resolution files of two irises that appeared on my other blog. She had sent me a print of each, along with a Thank you card that she too had made herself. Anna’s technique employed the use of a computer to assemble a botanical scan and that of a bee with a photograph of a woman, then printed on her mono printed-paper she had made earlier.

I thank you both, Anna and Eva for your beautiful
and thoughtful gift that I shall treasure dearly.



rivergardenstudio said...

I love to read about your hikes along the hills over the ocean. I used to hike in the Santa Monica mountains all the time as a teenager and the wild flowers in the spring were amazing. And your wild blue iris. Thank you for making me remember seeing these myself. My son will soon be going to college, up north a bit, and I hope I enjoy my drives as much as you, and go out and explore... (and not be too sad in missing him) roxanne

Sophie Munns said...

Mmmm ....reading about the weather is just somehow nourshing when its being relished like this Egmont.
So often people seem to hate weather... not so much in the blogsosphere I touch down with though.
Poetic memory is so alive....
How lovely to return from this day out and find mail waiting like this gift.
best wishes Egmont,

Anna said...

Dear Egmont,
It takes a very special person to be able to offer to his readers a taste of spring and all wonderful and positive elements relating to this life giving season, through his blog's posting.
Thank you for sharing your hike's discoveries, offering us a colorful display of the earliest of spring's signs...
You are very generous not only in sharing your surrounding nature's beauty finds, but also in expressing the thoughts and feeling related to receiving your friends' special mail.
What you received and gave you joy, it's only a reflection of the immense joy you have given to the sender; it's their response illuminated by the "glow" of the magic that friendship brings to our lives.
Thank you!

ArtPropelled said...

A field of blue flowers .... how wonderful! I've seen fields of pink, yellow, white , but never blue.

Ange said...

Reading this to your music, I can almost be there with you. It is like having you pointing out the flowers over my shoulder. I too have been noticing the bursts of new life popping out of the ground here as I take my morning runs through the field. It gives the spirit a boost. Time to get my babies out of bed.. HAve a wonderful day Egmont. I'll be back in touch when I've finished the last 30 pages of this report...

Anonymous said...

Dear Egmont, What a remarkable journey with so much to see of interest and also time to reflect. The wild flowers are not only lovely but seem so amazing for this early in the year.

I wonder if you know the poem by e.e. cummings : maggie and milly and mollie and may? The lower case letters are his choice.

jeannette stgermain said...

Hello Egmont - The field with the blue flowers is beautiful -so romantic!
Still need to write that email -sorry, things have been busy (a "good" busy).

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

ohhhh it wos now very nice to read and to see the photo....
I live in Vienna and today we have -8 grad, very cold for this season, in Italy today (in nirth) has snowed again, and a few centimeter...

La Dolce Vita said...

My Dear,

Thank you so much for the beautiful photos of your trip... which I see was outstanding! so nice to see spring. And you found another heart rock, that is just wonderful news. I think it is a universal sign of great healing for you.
what lovely cards from dear Anna and now I will have to go visit Eva.
So glad that you had such an amazing trip.

many blessings,

kathrin said...

lieber Egmont,
Frühling ist immer eine ganz besonders herrliche Zeit,
ich mag es, wenn die Vöglein ihr Lied singen und wenn die Graugänse zurück kehren, die ersten Blümchen
heraus gekrochen kommen, die Tage länger werden, das Leben von neuem beginnt,
die Hoffnung, dass der Kreis sich weiter dreht....
herzlich Kathrin

Protege said...

I have always believed, that if we pay attention to our surroundings, we can experience magnificent moment in time. Fleeting moments, discovering beauty in nature, right there, at no cost. A simple pleasure, in watching a flower turn to the sun, its colours vibrant and rich.
Beautiful post as always. Lovely cards as well, it seems from very talented Ladies.
And I still absolutely adore the music.

Jill Zaheer said...

Always love to see and capture the first signs of spring- and you've done such a beautiful job here in your post. I think everyone is awaiting spring this year with much anticipation and excitement-for it seems as if it's been a long winter- and we all can benefit from more light-the flowers and the beautiful warmer air to blow our way!

Eva said...

Dear, Egmont,
I loved going on this journey with you through your wonderful words and photos. You are such a gifted soul.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my card posted. It was only my intention to brighten your day, but in return you have brightened mine. Thank you!

Poetic Artist said...

The walk was wonderful and it is nice to know you focus on the simple things in life..That we all take for granted, the single flower. The simple pleasure we are given through nature.
I hope all finds you well my friend.

Ange said...

And I love the way nature takes no notice of calendar dates! What a splendid field. I would have spent the hour photographing it too. I think I may have been inclined to roll in the grass a bit as well. Thank you for taking us to one of your favourite places. And the artwork is sublime. You are loved ...this is as it should be!

Kim said...

I really enjoyed the pics of your trip, especially the blue flowers, I have always been very fond of blue ones for some reason. What a special place this looks.
How lovely to receive suprises in the mail. I find this always lifts me and is one of lifes little joys!

Jeanne said...

Egmont, it looks like you had an inspiring day indeed. Days like this can be like an unexpected gift...when you least expect it, they just appear and bring such pleasure. Sounds like that kind of day for you..hope you are feeling a bit better.

Jeanne :)

Jala Pfaff said...

What a wonderful description of a wonderful day. And thank you for offering us the image of the blue iris in particular, holding out the hope of spring for those of us where it's still snowing as I write this...

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh, how lovely. I am crazy about that part of the coast, and of course, though I am prejudiced, I think our California wildflowers are miraculous.

Thanks for taking us on a ride and a hike.

All best spring wishes,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I forgot to mention that I came to your site through my friend Zuzana at Protege.

You returned to the spot where you found the other heart rock. I always return to a spot on Moonstone Beach in Cambria that we now call "Heart Rock Beach" for its inevitable, (but never taken for granted) gifts of heart rocks.



S. Etole said...

I am one of those still in the midst of winter and it was a delight to visit here ...

Teri said...

Egmont--We have these same iris' here but mostly white or very pale blue but nothing is popping up yet. The coast doesn't get the extreme cold like we do. I woke up this morning to snow again. By afternoon it was gone. I collect heart-shaped rocks too. I started in my early 20's when I found the first one on a beach in Washington state. Ruby beach if I'm not mistaken. I just love them. Nice to hear you sounding so good.

Celeste Bergin said...

I've been to Davenport--the whole area is so pretty! The photos of the flowers you found are gorgeous. You have very dear friends...but then, they like you... because you are so likeable.

teresa stieben said...

Thank you for posting refreshing spring flowers. They make a wonderful re-start to my day which initially began at 5 am with a lot of pain. Now my thoughts are to the fragrance of spring.

I love the way you photograph your received mail on the envelopes.

Dianne Poinski said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful day with all of us. I loved all your photographs and the description of your adventures. Thank you!

lori vliegen said...

the time spent with your daughter, and the wonderful adventure that went with it sounds like the perfect day....and your beautiful photos serve as testimony to that!! thank you so much for stopping by my blog....i truly enjoyed reading your sweet comment!!! :))

Maggie Neale said...

What a treat to venture with you up the coast and spot the treasures along the way. You are so special, Egmont, how you share with us on this creative blog. The iris wins my heart...be well and keep us posted.

Judy said...

Well all we needed was the smell of the flowers coming through the screen. I felt I was walking along with you. Delightful reading. xx

Marina Colombo said...

Carissimo Egmont,
leggere questo tuo post è stato per me come una ventata di allegria in questo lunghissimo inverno, ne avevo proprio bisogno. Le foto sono stupende specialmente quella dell'iris che è anche il mio fiore preferito, ma la cosa più bella è questa serenità e l'entusiasmo che si legge "tra le righe" in questo tuo scritto. Chissà, magari un giorno avrò la fortuna di vedere di persona la tua bellissima terra!
Un caro saluto


Dan Kent said...

A beautiful, peaceful post. Thank you.

Dorothy said...

A wonderful way to begin my weekend remembering the beauty of mother nature and the sounds of peace and harmony with music.

Dorothy from grammology

Studio Sylvia said...

I enjoyed tagging alaong behind you Egmont. It was a delightful small sojourn. things happen for a reason, don't they?

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Dear Egmont,

My days of taking sons to college are past, but how well I remember the way my home felt more empty whenever they returned to school.

A beautiful trip that you were well enough to make. Lovely photos and moments shared.


Jeanne said...

Hi Egmont

Not sure if you are familiar with all the Awards that float around the blogosphere but I have passed on the Happy 101 award to you! You can read more about it on my Sunday post. Have a great week!

Karena said...

Egmont, just a beautiful site. I really enjoy your thoughts on art, life etc.

Come visit and do let me know what you think!

Art by Karena

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

It is always special coming for a visit Egmont!
How lovely to get to enjoy some of your nature walk and discovery of mother nature's treasures ... so many just waiting for us to notice them!
Healing thoughts and good wishes continue to wing their way to you!
I trust that you are doing well...all the best to you!
I admire your thoughtful friends that did more than just "think" of you...their cards and well wishes are very special!

layers said...

Hi Egmont. I read this post earlier and thought I had left a comment-- but don't see one here so perhaps I read it got sidetracked and must have not left a comment-- which I had fully intended to to-- I may have clicked on your links and then somehow forgot to come back-- well anyway, great links by the way :-)
and lovely spring images - spring seems to be influencing art work and art thoughts.