Springtime inspiration–take a nature walk

california poppies

A sure sign of spring in California

I’ve been really enjoying the arrival of spring here in L.A. Last week, my daughter and I strolled to school. We spotted our first monarch of the annual migration back up north.  The neighbors’ gardens were full of irises and azaleas. Alas, strong wind over the last week knocked the almonds off one neighbor’s tree before they ripened.

Our own garden is full of sweet peas, swiss chard, herbs and a single California poppy (a stray from last year’s batch–I didn’t plant them this year). There are buds on our rose bush and on the hydrangea, but our plumeria is mad at me. I didn’t realize that it’s not supposed to be watered over the winter, and the temperatures dipped unusually low, to boot.

What about the smells of spring? In L.A., spring smells like jasmine. Or what about taste? Strawberries always remind me of a California spring. Some of the neighbors grow their own. They smell sweet when warmed by the sun.

Spring has inspired artists for millenia. Why not take a walk around your neighborhood and describe how spring appears in your neck of the woods? Don’t be afraid to include the “off” notes–the muddy days, the late snow storm, the withered old tree that produces no more blossoms or fruit that stands stark in your backyard.

What reminds you of spring?

4 thoughts on “Springtime inspiration–take a nature walk

  1. Though I live in California, I associate the smell of creosote oil with spring. In Tucson, where I lived for many years, there are only 2 times of year when it rains — monsoon season in late summer and gentle rains in early spring. The rains mix with the creosote oil in the dry desert soil, and the air smells warm and welcoming after the rains. This also brings brief bursts of wildflowers, including poppies, all over the state.

    I’ve been seeing the California poppies in the oddest places lately; they’re such a nice distraction from the hard concrete of the city.


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