The smell of Spring is on the breeze, purple crocuses are budding in the Periwinkle foliage, and tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs are shooting their greens leaves out of the earth, ready to explode open any day. The sun sets later, and the trees are starting to turn green again!
Every now and then, there comes a morning where fresh snow is on the ground and the air is crisp and cold. Even though it makes you wonder if Spring will ever come; I don’t mind the snow all that much, in fact, I think it makes us appreciate the warmth of Spring all the more!
Here are my favourite things about Spring;
I LOVE the smell in the air. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe the thawing earth, the wind that blows away Winter, or maybe just the magic of new life! If you’ve never smelled it; go outside and breath deeply of Spring.
I love new life, of every sort, and Spring is when so many lives begin; baby birds hatch out of their eggs, little forest animals give birth to their young, sprouts shoot up out of the earth, trees turn green again! It’s beautiful.
Go outside, go for a walk in the park, in nature. And pause, take your time, don’t rush by; notice the small green things, notice the burrows, the leaves, the mud. Take off your shoes and enjoy the feeling of mud on your feet. Spot a nest. Be present; notice things you haven’t. Be free, run barefoot through the moist grass, let your pants get soaked, sing and dance and praise God for creating all the wonderful creations around you!
About two weeks ago, at around eight o’clock in the morning, my whole family packed up our mini-bus and camper-trailer, and headed off to Tobermory!
We drove for about three hours until we got to Owen Sound, where we stopped and met the lovely couple who run a bed and breakfast, called The Highland Manor, where my dad stays when he works there. The bed and breakfast is a beautiful eighteenth century mansion, and it felt like I had stepped back in time a hundred years, it was amazing! Another thing that was interesting about it was that years before, a midwife had owned the building, and used it for a maternity hospital; a safe place for women to give birth. I found that especially interesting, as I want to be a midwife myself!
After about an hour, we said goodbye and got on our way again.
When we got to our campground, two families we knew were already there; five families (us and four other families) had planned to stay at the same campground. We said ‘hello’ and started setting up our site.
All the families got together that night for a campfire, and that was a great way to start out the camping trip!
Over the next three days, we got to enjoy some really fun experiences, including; swimming in the campground’s pool, playing ‘Capture the Flag’, playing frisbee, having campfires, walking everywhere barefoot, testing out some campfire snack ideas, going to ‘the Grotto’, going to the Singing Sands beach, and a lot of other things!
The Grotto is a beach on the Bruce Peninsula, it is all rocky with huge stone cliffs, and caves with water for their floor! It was beautiful there, a very worthwhile place to visit if you are ever in Tobermory!
The water looks tropical but it’s freezing!
I love this picture!
An underwater tunnel out!
A large cave from above
The same cave from the bottom
Beautiful wall of ‘the’ Grotto
Singing Sands beach is also very neat, when we were there the air was cold and the water was warm, which made the water actually steam!
There was a beautiful trail made out of wooden boards, and while walking on it, me and one of my friends noticed a strange kind of flower with rubbery petals, we wondered what it was. After walking for a bit longer, we realized it was the flower of a kind of Pitcher-Plant, then we ran back and told the rest of our families and friends.
The Pitcher-Plants’ leaves, which are the reason for its name, are shaped like little pitchers, inside the leaf; tiny hairs point downwards, the leaves are half-filled with some kind of liquid that helps digest bugs that fall into this amazing flytrap! I think it is amazing how God thinks of everything!
The front of a flower!
The back of a flower!
I read on a sign at the end of the trail, that even the smooth, tall stem of the flower helps bugs to slip down into the leaves, and the tiny hairs that point down make it almost impossible for insects to escape, then the plant digests them! The sign also said since sometimes soil is missing a certain kind of nutrient that plants need, not a lot of plants can live in those places, but since bugs are full of the nutrient, Pitcher-Plants are able to grow where not a lot of that kind of nutrient in the soil! Isn’t God amazing?
After four days and four nights, everyone packed up and headed home again, but since renovations were still going on at our new house, one family asked if we wanted to camp at their house for a night, we excepted, and had a fun night and half-day at their house, then we headed home, (though we did stop at a park for a picnic supper!).
Eating supper together!
Putting away supper together!
When we got home, everyone was tired, sticky, itchy, sandy, dirty, and sweaty, but everyone was glad to be home! (And I admit I’m glad to not be sleeping on the pull-out couch in the main room of our trailer, which also happened to be right in front of the front door!) After all that fun and excitement, I’m certainly glad to be home!
I love Spring, not only because it is getting warmer outside, but also because of all the new life! We may not always see the life springing forth all around us, but just imagine the insides of trees – their sap is running, their blood is flowing again! Little sprouts are shooting up all around us, and soon their colors will come bursting out into the world!
Just recently, I saw a robin with a long piece of straw in its beak, it flew from one tree to another, looking for the perfect place to raise its young. Finding the most secure place to let her children hatch.
In Spring the color of the world is renewed; after the whites, greys, and blacks of winter, everything is exploding with pinks, purples, blues, greens, reds, yellows, and so many more colors! The sky is a brilliant blue, the grass is a bright green; purple and white crocuses shoot up from the old dried leaves; pink, white, and purple-blue hyacinths grow tall in the protection of their own leaves, and dazzling yellow daffodils smile happily in the sunlight.
Spring is here at last, the world is being refreshed, the birds are singing in the gentle breeze, and everything is bright and happy.
Everything is being created again by Jesus; the creator of all things!
First of all, I should probably explain what a flower press is; it is made out of two boards, two or four long screws, and the same amount of nuts, corrugated cardboard, and paper. My neighbour uses paper towel, but I find I like paper more, mostly because it helps make flat flowers or leaves, and doesn’t leave patterns, the corrugated cardboard lets air flow throughout the press, helping to dry the flowers quickly. The press can be used for flower or leaves, but thick stems, leaves and buds may mold, not dry well, or not flatten out nicely. Many people use large books for this, but I really like using my press 🙂
Last Summer and the one before that, I used to go out and pick a basket full of the crisp, colourful flowers that were blossoming all around, I would bring them inside, lay them all out, and inspect them for bugs! Then, if they were wet, I would gently pat them dry with a tea-towel. After the bad ones were thrown back outside, I would fill my press with the flowers, and tighten the knobs as much as I could, then I would wait for a week or so, (sometimes it would take a lot longer!) and once the flowers were dry and flat, I took them out and laid them gently into my ‘Flower Book’, made out of a cardboard box and paper towel.
Just a few days ago, I was walking outside, when I noticed a clump of brilliant purple crocuses that had pushed through the dense layer of periwinkle leaves, they were the first flowers to bloom at our house this Spring! As I looked around, I saw some bright white crocuses, as well as some with a mix of white and purple, I thought about my flower press, and ran inside to look for it. I found my flower press, and went back outside, to start pressing the crocuses.
Pressing the flowers brought back memories of bright, sunny days picking flowers, and dark, rainy days, opening my press to reveal flat, dried flowers, not like before, but still beautiful. I like to use pressed flowers for bookmarks, or other crafts like that. pressed, dried flowers can be really pretty to use in so many ways!
A few things about flower pressing that I’ve learned so far are these:
One; Don’t expect a dried flower to be exactly the same as the fresh one; most times they will fade, and get vary fragile after pressing.
Two; You shouldn’t press wet flowers or really thick ones, they can mold easily.
Three; Check your flowers for bugs before pressing them, squashed bugs do NOT look pretty in your flowers! 🙂
And Four; Try new things, experiment! But don’t expect everything you try to turn out good, it it better to be nicely surprised by success, than it is to be dissapointed by a mistake.
If any of you have tips, or things that you have found out about leaf or flower pressing, please comment!