Spring dinner

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Last night was bright and cheerful, and we celebrated a friend’s birthday and the arrival of spring with a lovely dinner. The sun shone in through the kitchen window, glowing like gold in this glass of champagne.

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Now, I don’t cook. I know, weird for a teacher of home economics and a PhD in food and nutrition. But when you’re married to a kitchen genius you learn to sit down and shut up while the magic happens. Or photograph it!

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While hubby was cooking, the sun slowly set over the hills outside. Right now it dips below the horizon at 9 pm, but every day it stays up a little bit longer – like a child with really good nagging power. In two months’ time, it will hardly set at all.

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As a treat, here’s a video of the entrée we had. It’s an old favourite of ours that really signals spring and warm days ahead. You don’t really need the scallops – we just threw them in on a whim.

Bon appetit!

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That bruised look

Tonight the sky was the colour of pain. Plum purple blood stain on silk.

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The sun a coppery-gold penny admiring its own reflection in the lake.

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These thin straws, ducking beneath the surface, as if closing a circuit. The tiny glint of surface tension around them so sharp against the distant clouds.

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The cold light of spring

There’s a saying here, “It’s only the sun that gives any warmth”, and it captures perfectly the insidiousness of spring. The light has returned, but as soon as you’re not in direct sunlight, it’s really cold.

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You can be fooled into wearing a too-thin jacket, or leaving your hat at home. The saying exists, I think, to remind us that the sun is still weak, and even though it makes our evenings brighter, it does nothing for the chill of the purpling shadows as twilight falls.

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I should have worn thicker mittens on my walk, but the cold light was worth freezing a little for. There were none of the coppery shades tonight, but these soft, wispy pinks and lilacs that gave everything an aura of calm.

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Evening fire

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There is something otherwordly about these spring evenings. The sun is never as coppery as in April and May, before the gentle colours of summer have taken over.

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It’s as if the world is both dying and waking up at the same time.

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When nature is mostly grey and brown and nothing seems worth looking at, the setting sun gilds the scene and makes it magical. To compensate, perhaps? You just have to be patient and wait for the drab day to be over, and suddenly there’s your reward: the dusty, muddy nothingness of an April day in the north turns to a golden spectacle.

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Ice torrents

If you’re looking for interesting ice shapes, your best bet seems to be wild waters in spring.

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The spray coats stones and branches and freezes to form fantastical shapes that hang immobile over the rushing stream.

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They’re like a snapshot in time, a sharp contrast to the giddy swirls that surround them. Crouching, like this one, just waiting to melt.

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Or this one, that hangs like a tired caterpillar over a twig. 😀

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The ice drops hang fearless over the abyss, staunch in the onslaught of water.

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The din is deafening. The movement never stops. It’s the same molecules in the frozen pillars and icicles, maelstroms and bubbles, just in different states.

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The dancing froth catches the odd ray of sun, almost too quickly to capture.

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And the river flows on even though the water is no longer the same.

 

The warm hug of a tree

I found this perfect tree with long, long branches that hung like flouncy skirts over the ground. They seemed to reach out and gather you up in a gentle embrace. The sun filtered through the needles and the earth was packed and dry beneath it – perfect for rolling up and almost falling asleep.

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Later, when twilight sank over the cabin, it was time for another kind of tree warmth…

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A day for outings

Today was mostly cloudy and wet, but the animal kingdom apparently loves this kind of weather. Everywhere I looked there were birds. Some of them are just now returning for summer from warmer climes, like these two crane couples.

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Others, like these geese, just take the opportunity to float on the water and enjoy the odd ray of sun that makes it through the blanket of the clouds.

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These swans kindly arranged themselves to look as symmetrical as possible with the patches of snow in the background, and then smack dab in the middle of the lines left by the autumn’s harvest.

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And these are… dancing?

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To add some atmosphere, I filmed them as well. Just listen to those eerie crane cries that echo over the landscape!