Winter vs. Spring. Round 3

And the winner is … Spring!

Arkansas did have one more round of snow on St. Patrick’s Day, with enough ice and snow to cause a 10- to 15-car pileup that shut down I-630 during the morning commute. However, Spring has gotten down to business and has taken the state in its firm grip.

Violets grow on a rocky Ouachita mountain slope.
White tree blossoms.
Beautiful blossoms, but the tree is a mystery.
Robin in nest.
Mama robin minds her nest in a tulip tree at the office.


Flower power

Street food in Chengdu. [more of my cousin’s vacation photography.]

Flowers don’t seem to show up much in American cooking, except as a table decoration. However, there’s a world of foods featuring flowers — hibiscus or chrysanthemum teas, fried zucchini blossoms, saffron in all sorts of savories and sweets, candied violets* in pastries and rose petals and flavorings in a range of dishes. An interesting link about edible flowers:

*Though some may remember Choward’s violet mints and scented gum.

Weekly photo challenge: Renewal 1

This week’s photo challenge theme is “renewal.” It’s a hard theme in autumn when Nature is preparing for her winter’s sleep. She did leave some reminders of spring — that great time of renewal. ¬†Today, vibrant violets dotted the shaley, leaf-strewn slopes.

ULTRAVIOLET — Normally a signature of spring, violet blooms popped into fullness near the middle of November.
OUT OF TIME — Wild violet blooms out of time.

Far more interesting takes on the theme can be found here:

And of course, the BIG photo challenge page:

Violets in bloom

Violets are among my favorite flowers. They thrive in what little soil clings to sides of the Ouachita’s folds and they are beautiful. Had to pull over en route to the grocery store to catch these beauties as this morning’s rain clung to their petals.

Three violets.
Three rain-spotted violets peer from beneath oak leaf litter.
Drops on small birdsfoot violet
Tiny birdsfoot violet barely raises its head above the leaf litter and chickweed.