Has Spring Sprung?

February 2nd: A ladybug works on a soon to open "Colonel Fiery" Camellia Japonica blossom.

Based on weather reports of a blizzard in the western U.S. and Colorado, the answer to that question is: Not everywhere. But, in what was no great surprise around these parts yesterday morning, our local resident groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting that our Spring will be early. Ummm, more like right now…I would say!

Eye see Spring around the corner! Cats...always on the move when you want to take a photo!

I wouldn’t mind having a bit more Winter as I previously posted, not just for the pleasures of it, but also to allow the natural dying off of insects (primarily mosquitoes) and foliage so that we benefit from the dormant season. I’m sure we’ll have some cooler days before it’s all said and done. But yesterday—which started with fog and nary a shadow to be seen if we believe large, weather-predicting marmots—was all Spring, with temps in the low 70’s. The birds were singing, doves were cooing, cats were prowling, smaller marmots were scurrying, hellebores and snowdrops and jonquils were blooming. Spring at the beginning of February! A day beautiful enough to give anyone Spring Fever, and I certainly had it.

Sun shining through the hellebores...a welcome sight considering how many rainy days we've had.

Close up hellebore.

Snowdrops blooming in the back yard.

Winter Daphne.

All these flowers are blooming in my yard, calling to me. I live in a major metropolitan area that happens to be known for having lots of green space in residential areas and its many parks, and our neighborhood is lovely, with plenty of places to walk…just begging one to play hooky and leave the work desk for a while.

As you may have guessed by now, this post won’t be about a recipe, or even cooking. Next one, I promise. But just because I could, I wanted to be outside yesterday, communing with nature and enjoying this fine day. So I took a very, very long lunch and walked around our yard, then our neighborhood and then on to downtown Decatur to see what has sprung. It’s often said, that one needs to take the time to “stop and smell the roses.” This was the perfect day to do just that…well, not quite roses yet, but there were some camellias! Enjoy my little walk and tour, and here’s wishing you an early Spring! (Warning…lots of photos!)

This is my herd grazing out back.

This is my chicken...not a layer unfortunately.

As usual, the T-grr stays outside to hunt while Cin comes in to nap in the sun.

I have a liking for lichens.

How on earth did that groundhog NOT see his shadow. Switching to my phone camera, I head off for town.

There's a railroad between me and downtown Decatur. You can hear the haunting whistle of the trains echoing in the night this time of year.

Headed in the right direction...yes, I think the signage is working well around here.

I'm heading (further) south.

The things one sees on the sidewalk around here.

An azalea blooming way too early, blooming bushes and a camellia.

Lots of film production goes on around Atlanta and it's a frequent site in our neighborhood. This is the old courthouse in downtown Decatur on the square and it looks like a commercial is in progress...not enough crew for a movie.

Since all trails lead to good food, it's time to stop and enjoy a sandwich al fresco. This is the "Veggie Heaven" panini from Java Monkey, the "original" cool coffee shop down here.

Next to Java Monkey is Mingei, one of my favorite stores in Decatur. The owners travel to other countries to meet artists, promote fair trade and they have amazing jewelry, arts and crafts in the store. They also do lots of good things in the world and I'll talk more about that in another post.

Downtown Decatur has a very hip and village-y feeling to it as well as an urban vibe. The city promotes green practices and lifestyle, is a place of great creativity and is worldly as well. That center shot is a donation jar for 50 Cents Period, a cause started right here and you can learn more at the website by that name. Decatur and it's inhabitants will have it's own post at a later date, but just wanted to give you a little taste today.

A Japanese Magnolia in full bloom!

A beautiful ceramic tile birdhouse sits amongst a patch of jonquils...truly, Spring is in the air!

Time to go as long shadows appear in the early afternoon...it is still Winter after all!

Have a great weekend!

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40 thoughts on “Has Spring Sprung?

    • Yay…and I love the name Wiarton Willy! I hope you get your early spring, Eva! And now I must wish for the warmer weather to hold here so all the blooms aren’t nipped. Thanks for your comments and I hope you have a great weekend!

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    • Thank you, Linda, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m afraid our early Spring was short lived as today is cooler with rain coming in all weekend…but is sure was a glorious day yesterday, and hopefully we’ll see more soon. Java Monkey makes great panini…my favorite place around here for those!

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    • Hand laundry…oh yes, what I probably SHOULD have been doing with some of my spare time. Upcoming trip? Oh, boy, can’t wait to hear about that! Glad you liked the photos. Sharyn…the hellebores are spectacular looking this year!

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  1. So many fantastic images, i was trying to remember each one I liked to comment on them but then there were too many! What a beeautiful day you had out there.. we are still misty and brown but that is ok, it is warm enough for all the doors and windows to be opened again!! c

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    • Thank you so much for the compliments on the images, Cecilia, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the walk. I did have a lot of images…and was tempted to include more in my excitement over such a great day, but this was plenty long for one post! We are getting misty, cooler and are about to be wet here today. Yesterday was a teaser, I think!

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  2. Chattanooga Chuck said more winter…we’ll see who’s right! Thanks for the walk…I feel all refreshed- ha! We have a lot of things blooming too! Have a great week end!

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    • Well you know how it is, Jeanie, you guys are only 2 hours away or less, but can have completely different weather coming over those mountains. Wish you’d been here to go to Mingei with me…I think of you every time I go in there! We’ll be comin’ around your mountain in the near future, meanwhile you have a great weekend, too!

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  3. WHat a great walk you took — and you thought to being us along! Oh, how I wish our climate was a little more like yours. Here, even though this has been a very mild Winter, everyone is expecting Old Man Winter to lower the boom, probably as soon as we let our collective guard down. After all, the latest recorded snowfall in Chicago was May 4th. How’s that for a sobering thought?

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    • May 4th!!!!! Oh, my, that IS a sobering thought, John! It’s making my Southern soul shudder…you’ve got to be of much heartier stock than I am to deal with snow in May. I know I have a rather romantic notion of Winter…but that’s only because I’ve not experienced a tough one. I hope you guys don’t get ill effects from that blizzard out west, and I’m wishing you an early Spring…that lasts through May!

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  4. Your photos Betsy certainly do make it look like Spring is on its way. I just love your image of that cute blue bird-house. I want one of those! As for us back here in Sydney, we are waiting for our summer to arrive and fearing it may never come. It’s so cold, grey and wet, wet, wet.

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    • Gosh I thought you guys were fully in the midst of your summer by now! What’s with this wonky world-wide weather? We are certainly off kilter this year. I want one of those blue birdhouses, too, Charlie Louie…I might just have to make myself one!

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  5. What fantastic shots – I loved taking a walk around your area with you. I have just scheduled three posts from a walk I took around our garden and two from walks around our village! My fur children are equally as uncooperative when it comes to photos!
    Have a super weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • Thanks so much for the compliments and for coming along with me. I know, it ended up being a long walk with all these images. When Spring is really here, we have such a beautiful one that I know I’ll be posting about it again. I was just so excited to have one real Spring day this early! Those felines aren’t as cooperative subjects as other animals I think. The minute mine see the camera, they head for it with their noses…most shots are movement or a big nose!

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  6. It’s nice to take a break now and then and have someone cook something up for us! That looked delicious as did your little adventure today. Those Snowdrops were sooo pretty, we don’t have those here.

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    • Glad you came along for the tour, Julie! We do see some blooms this time of year…the hellebores and the snowdrops are on time and it’s just about time for the camellias. But the rest of it is way too early. I just hope we don’t have an ice storm of something that kills everything while it’s so tender.

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  7. I love posts where it gives you an insight into the area other bloggers live… and beautiful looking area too. I also love lichens, they are funky to photo and just the word sounds good…licccchen… See, it sounds good!

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    • I agree with you on both counts! I love to see where others live through their eyes…like a mini trip. Lichens are so engaging. I can’t pass one by without getting close to it to see all the little textures and ruffles. These are the first I’ve seen out in our back yard in quite some time, so the conditions must be favorable this year.

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  8. Couldn’t be further from spring here right now. It snowed last night and is -8 right now… that’ll make for interesting driving conditions tomorrow 😦

    Beautiful photos – thanks for sharing 🙂

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    • Hi Charles! Wow, -8 in France? Is that a record? That is mighty cold and colder than it has ever been here where I live, I’m pretty sure. You be careful out there, driving and fingertips! I’m so glad you enjoyed my little taste of Spring…we just had the one day so I’m glad I took advantage!

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  9. I’m glad you took the day to “smell the roses” and share with us your sites from your camera lens. So many amazing photos. How did that silly groundhog not see his shadow..? Take Care, BAM

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    • It’s true, Bam, it seems unlikely the groundhog would’t see his shadow except for the fact that we started the day with fog that burned off…either that or he’s a very old groundhog, not sure which! 🙂 Thanks for going on my little tour! You take care, too!

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