Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Posts tagged ‘signs of spring’

A Turtle Takes a Walk…

A sunny morning walk from a pond at the edge of a woods… across a gravel road… towards a lake, reveals spring contrasts and camouflage…

My dark, shiny shell contrasts with the grey/white gravel.


A tulip stands alone, in new,
green growth on the forest floor.


Bright, yellow daffodils dazzle midst old, brown cattails.

Green and white trilliums make a spectacular ground
cover in contrast to the brown earth and rotting leaves.


A motionless green and brown Leopard Frog is cleverly camouflaged
against old, beige grass of winter and new, green grass of spring .


I bask in warm, morning sun on an old, black tyre by a dock.


I stretch my neck as far as I can above the surface to see
if another Midland Painted turtle is nearby in the lake.

Trillions of Trilliums

Today I feel like Heidi may have felt when she discovered masses of wild flowers in the Alps – except I am in the woods when I come across masses of trilliums.


Trillions of trilliums!


One superbly formed flower… after another…


But I don’t ‘gather great handfuls of flowers and
stuff them all into my apron’ 
like Heidi.

Instead, I photograph the brilliant white trilliums.


When I get home, I learn three very good reasons for not gathering the wild flowers. One, trilliums bloom in April/May – a short time to enjoy their beauty. Two, a trillium takes up to 11 years to … (read more)

The trillium is Ontario’s Provincial flower or ‘floral emblem’.

Spyri, Johanna. (No date). Heidi: A Story for Children. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Pondering what photo to use ‘from above’. Food? Flowers? Insects?

Then, a surprise. The decision is made for me whilst walking in bright sunshine by the lake…


A Midland Painted Turtle crosses the road to reach water – but
stops as I approach and tucks most of himself under his shell.


Then another surprise.
A Leopard frog is motionless
in ragged, beige and green grass beside the road.

‘From above’ reveals beautiful patterns on the animals.
‘Turtle’ and ‘Frog’ remind me of favourite children’s books.

The Smallest TurtleNot a Midland Painted Turtle, but a sea turtle (Amazon photo).


The frog:  A Frog Inside my Hat
Fay Robinson’s compilation of children’s poems.

The birds are back…

The birds are back.
For spring and summer.

Water birds. Land birds.
Familiar birds: Geese. Mallards.

Unfamiliar birds.
Bobbing on the river that runs through town.


Black and white heads against choppy, blue water.
‘Hooded Mergansers’? Not sure…

On the way out of town,
Stop at calmer waters.

More ducks.
Black and white. Grey and white.

The ducks dive for food.
Re-surface. Anywhere!

Camera: Press. Focus. Click.
Duck:  Dives down. Out of sight.

Left with a photo of calm, cold water,
With a squiggle on the top!

Drive home. Download photos.
Beautiful black and white heads.

Google ‘Hooded Merganser’ to check.
Black head. White hood. But brown on the body? No…

View another picture.
Black and white head.

Bufflehead? Bufflehead?
Check google photos with my photos.

Could be…
Male. Black head. White wrap around patch. Yes…

Then, a telling factor:
“… buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds.” Yes…


A male Bufflehead


Later, we see a male Hooded Merganser.

The birds are back!

Early morning noise…

What is it? Look out the living room window.
A yellow machine up the road. A man in it. Another man by the side of the road. What is he doing?
Dress quickly. Add warm coat, wool hat and mitts, grab the camera and rush out the door.
Exciting morning. Watch a back-hoe clear snow out of a ditch to help icy waters flow through the drains.


Man and machine at work.
Imagine how children would love to watch this on their way to school.

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I love to see the clean swathes of ice and snow
the back-hoe takes from the ditch.

Go for a walk…


Slushy snow melts slooowly,


and icy water makes small creeks


and  large puddles.


At roadsides…


a frozen dinosaur appears…


and a large, cookie face gives a crooked smile as I pass!

Signs of Spring: Hooray!

With a sunny 7 degrees today there are welcome signs of spring.


A rhododendron escapes its cold enclosure
and its shiny leaves welcome the sun.


Sedum spears appear as snow disappears.


Rocks break out and absorb the sun’s rays whilst


 dock wood dries out and feels warm again.


But… roads soften and crack


and garbage is uncovered.


Thankfully and gradually, buds appear


and burst in happiness against a brilliant blue sky.

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