Spring in the Shenandoah Valley

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ” ~Mark Twain

Earlier this week, on a spectacular blue sky day, my art major daughter Elise and I went for a walk on our farm in the Shenandoah Valley.  We passed beneath the ornamental flowering crab apples and the edible apples all in full bloom, then continued on down to the meadow where we circled the pond, followed by curious cows and one of our farm dogs, Lance.

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.”
~Robert Frost

Our other farm dog, Luca, (both lab mixes) won’t go into the meadow after she accidentally touched the electric fence that keeps the cows out of the water (an EPA requirement). So, sadly, Luca can’t go for a swim without the risk of being zapped by the fence and stays clear of the field now. Lance sticks to the wide swath of grass and the small stream that meanders through the meadow further below the pond.

While near the water, Elise and I looked to see if the trees planted along its banks last year all survived, they did, and we looked for nests in the larger trees that have been there for years  We also spotted a goose on her nest.  A protective gander kept watch nearby and we gave them a wide berth.  Geese get very fussy about anyone trespassing too near their nests. Especially Canadians, which this pair are.  We also have domestic barnyard geese nesting in various hotly contested sites on our farm. (Nesting goose by the pond)

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”  ~Proverb

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”

~Nadine Stair (*Only not near any thistles, I add)

After crossing the  grassy field, we navigated the barb wire fence and walked on up the hill to the woods beyond it.  Elise took her camera and recorded our outing. She got some wonderful shots with her new lens. On our way, we passed an ancient barn, rather derelict now, and the overgrown spot where the farmhouse once stood.  It burned down decades ago.  The old man didn’t die in the fire, but later.  A quaint outbuilding remains, but the scent of skunks kept us at bay.  I assume they’ve taken up residence there.  That site is always a little creepy, and I wonder what paranormal investigators might find with their high-tech gadgets, but not on such a glorious afternoon.

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” ~Mark Twain

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”  ~Ellis Peters

It’s quite a hike getting up the hill and then following the line of trees across it. Along the way we paused by a stand of oaks I call my ‘sacred place’ and said a prayer for loved ones and in memory of those who have gone before us.  After a pensive pause, we explored further among the copse of trees and found a burrow that may belong to a fox. The farmers who live on one side of that hill have spotted a number of them.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

Startled deer sprang past us, white tails up, and bounded away while birds sang from high overhead.  We continually craned our necks to try and catch a glimpse of the songsters but most were out of sight.  A tantalizing glimpse, now and then and I recognized several calls. Others I wasn’t certain of.

Meadowlarks trilled in the distance, my favorite spring bird, and extremely elusive. I rarely ever catch sight of a meadowlark and am thrilled when I do. Coyotes also live somewhere in those woods, but don’t generally come out until after dark.  Not where I’d want to be then.  Our dog Lance had given up the walk and turned back so if we were attacked I’d have to rely on my trusty walking stick. Coyotes have come onto our farm and far too near the house for comfort, at times, but the dogs keep them at bay.  Go out of their mind barking.  Not a hint of anything sinister on this fine day, though, just beauty. Then we did the whole walk  in reverse and returned by a different route. Elise took pics all along the way.  I was whacked by the time we got home.  It was definitely tea time.

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven -
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning


“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.”
~Robert Frost

Shenandoah Watercolors, my nonfiction book about gardening and country life, is available at Amazon in kindle and now print with photographs taken by my talented family.

“For those who love the country and even those who don’t.” A 2012 EPIC eBook Finalist

For more on my and my work please visit: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”

~Hal Borland

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”

~Julian Grenfell

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

~Margaret Atwood


7 Responses to “Spring in the Shenandoah Valley”

  • Winona Cross [ 09Apr12]

    Not much to say but your words and your daughter’s photos allowed me to go on the walk with you. As always, thanks for sharing Beth.

     
  • Beth Trissel [ 09Apr12]

    Thanks my dear. :)

     
  • Debra St. John [ 09Apr12]

    Hi Beth,

    What a wonderful post about spring. You’ve pretty much captured every nuance of the season wtih your words and your daughter’s fabulous photographs. (What a talented family!)

    I loved all the quotes throughout as well. Especially the one about going barefoot. :)

     
  • Beth Trissel [ 09Apr12]

    Thanks so much. Very good to be appreciated, and a big thank you for my daughter too. :)

     
  • Patricia Rasey [ 09Apr12]

    Hi, Beth. Loved your pictures of your spring walk! Nice day for a stroll. :-) And the quotes were great as well.

     
  • Beth Trissel [ 10Apr12]

    Thanks. Yes it was gorgeous that day.

     
  • Sherry James [ 11Apr12]

    Beth–What a wonderful post. Between your words and your talented daughter’s photos, you two paint a beautiful picture of your part of the country! Makes me love spring all the more!

    And, again, so glad you’re now a part of Authors By Moonlight.

     
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