Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh, humble yellow violet

When beechen buds begin to swell,
And woods the blue-bird's warble know,
The yellow violet's modest bell
Peeps from the last year's leaves below. -

Excerpt from
by William Cullen Bryant , 1814

Today was a beautiful day in Maryland. After work, I came home to find my husband busy in the garden. He didn't need my help, so I started off on a walk through the woods with George. I was only going to go round the pond, but my husband told me about a tree with an unusual flower that he saw and suggested that I change my lens.
I tried to find the tree he mentioned, and kept going further because I thought maybe it was at the end of the trail he told me to take. Finally, I just gave up looking for it and concentrated on the beauty all around me. While I walked, I thought quiet thoughts, of my sons who are at the beginnings of their adult lives and then of my father, who is getting very near the end of his.
I knew that my father was going to an appointment with his physician today. He lives in California and is being cared for by my sister, Ginny and her husband Jay.
My father will be 90 years old this August. I posted about him once, in this post. My father is a wonderful man, and quite handsome! But he's getting more confused and now suddenly, not well at all, and I just want to be near him. I want to help him feel better like he did for me when I was a child. I want to help my sister and her husband and share the burden of caring for him. They have some help, but I want to be there, too.
I plan on flying out and spending a week in June when school is finished for the year.
Anyway, I was out walking and suddenly, I realized that I was walking in the woods and I haven't done that since March 26 -- the day before my knee surgery! And it didn't hurt very much! However, I realized that now I had to walk all the way back, so I suddenly stopped and right then I looked down and there, among the old leaves and the new shoots trying to push up, was a yellow violet. I don't see them much and I can't remember the last time I ever noticed them. When I looked closer, I saw there were several yellow violets. So I got down on the ground (after checking for poison ivy) and started taking pictures, crawling around from violet to violet. I didn't have my macro lens with me, but this lens was fine on the setting I had it.
George was with me and because it was a little warm today, he had his tongue hanging out again. He'd already been on a good walk with his dad, so this was his second of the afternoon.
When I came home, I looked up yellow violets and found that they arrive in April and thrive in a dry woodsy setting. And I also found that William Cullen Bryant wrote a poem about them; the first quatrain is above.
Hope you enjoy the beautiful violets and this tree I came across that wanted to be in the blog. It was whispering to me while I was walking by and I just had to oblige.


Anonymous said...

YAY! Another George photo! Man, his tongue is long!! LOL

tj said...

...Oh I love to read your posts! Your writing about your father and the walk in the woods and then the yellow violets - I could feel your joy and your pain... I'm so sorry about your father Kate - I do hope and pray the best for him and you and your family...

...Love the photos! Loved how the tree whispered to you and how you obliged - you're such a neat person! ;o)

...And I'll say it again, "that George is a cutie!" lol...

...Blessings... :o)

dlyn said...

Ah yellow! One of the best parts of spring. I pray that your visit with your Dad will be a blessing to both of you.

emily said...

When I was little and my stomach hurt, Pop would make it feel better by being Doctor Kuhrahtay and doing gentle judo chops all over my stomach. It always worked. And remember when we went to Virginia and Mom found that snake in the bathroom cabinet? Pop gave all us kids smarties and called them snake bite pills. Ohhhhh how I love Pop-Pop stories.

Glad your knee is feeling better!

Mary said...

Oh what a beautiful post -- words and pictures both! Love the yellow violets. Glad to hear your knee is feeling better!

Mental P Mama said...

What a treat for the eyes and soul this morning. Light and peace to you and your father.

Anonymous said...

Yay for getting back out in the woods!!

And I love when dogs are so hot and tired that they can't keep their tongues even close to being in their mouth! too cute!

Meg said...

What a BEAUTIFUL post! The pictures are amazing as usual! I had never even heard of yellow violets! Good for you that you are out and about and enjoying your walks...sending hugs and good thoughts to you AND your dad!

Meg said...

Forgot to add...I JUST ADORE GEORGE! A long time ago, I had a Border Collie named Scamper, I miss him so much every time I see George!

Treasia Stepp said...

May the time with your father be sweet in every way.

Shimmy Mom said...

Again, beautiful pictures. I love to come to your blog everyday for my picture fix. Especially since it is snowing in Utah right now. It's just not right.
I totally understand your wanting to be with your father. When my hubby was in the military and we were living in other states, my mother became very ill and had to go in for a surgery. My heart broke. I wanted to be there so badly. I didn't trust my brothers and father to take care of her the same way I would. It took lots of prayers and a last minute plane ticket 1 week after her surgery to get me through. My prayers are with you and you precious papa.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful this is..the yellow just screams Spring.

Country Girl said...

Let me say that reading these comments is such a pleasure. And to my neice, Emily, he did the same for us as children growing up. So can you imagine having him as a father? He was wonderful, honey.

The tree really was whispering to me, tj. Or maybe it was the one next to it. I couldn't decide. So I have them both in the picture. You are so funny!

To everyone, I'm so glad I could share these simple things with you. And I love that you appreciate it.

Shimmy, you are too kind.

~ C.G.

Leslie: said...

Gosh, Kate, I just realized that it's been 2 weeks since I've popped over to visit. Just got myself caught up on all your posts and thoroughly enjoyed the read. Love your photos of the flowers - I adore lilacs as it reminds me of when I was in 2nd grade and would walk by a house that had a huge lilac bush that hung over the fence onto the sidewalk. I'd always stop there and smell the flowers and it made me feel so good for the rest of the day. I've never seen yellow violets, before, though. Beautiful!

abb said...

I love the way in a lot of your photos you have the subject off-center. It makes for beautiful pictures.

Blessings to your dad - time becomes more precious the older we get.

Country Girl said...

Leslie, I think we were on each other's blogs at the exact same time today! Good to see you again.

Thanks, Annie. It might be the rule of thirds which I just found out about over at Miriam Lovell Dyer's site or maybe it's just the way I've always taken pictures. I'm glad you like 'em!

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I've ever seen yellow violets.

It's hard when our parents get old, isn't it? Sometimes I just want to be a little girl again, and have them take care of me...instead of the reverse. Glad you're getting a chance to go out and visit your dad soon. It must be hard to be so far way.