Oh, spring. You go to bed one night and the next day it is everywhere -- spring green draping the branches of trees, magnolia blossoms open and welcoming, flowers everywhere.
Back in 1977 when my mom lay in her hospital bed, only a week or so from death on April 21, one of my cousins came to visit. She was an MSU graduate so after visiting mom, we went by her old dorm and walked on campus when the trees were in bloom. It was an early spring and added extra beauty to that day.
|My cousin, Sue, in 1977, in mid-April on MSU's campus|
There have been other early springs. Last year was not one of them. When Rick and I went walking on the MSU campus on Mother's Day in mid-May, the flowering trees had only just bloomed and the trillium was plentiful. (I wrote about that HERE.)
|Rick at the reflecting pool, mid-May, 2020.|
This year -- even earlier than that visit from my cousin Susan fourty-four years ago -- things seemed to pop overnight. I may have missed some of the best of it, but it was still pretty good! Yesterday I took a long walk on the university campus and while the trees were still in bloom, I think I missed the trillium. And the redbuds are nearly done.
When we walked last year, we may have seen five others on a somewhat cool and gloomy Mother's Day. It was the early days of Covid and while we were allowed to be out for walks, few were. Yesterday I saw small groups picnicking on the grassy areas, riding bicycles with their families or simply walking, most all masked. Some were admiring the statues on campus, dating back to the WPA. You can take a WPA art tour of MSU's campus sites online HERE. This is fittingly by the music building.
I'm rather fond of the magnolia. Last year-- mid-May -- the magnolia had just burst into full bloom, below.
This year (below), they were still in bloom -- but there were more than a few petals on the ground.
Beaumont Tower is one of the campus' landmarks. It it had a logo other than that Sparty logo you see in sports, this would be it.
And in the spring, the old part of campus, with its beautiful lanterns, is really special.
This is a Saucer Magnolia. Isn't it beautiful?
You really couldn't beat the beauty of this one!
This tree, a Merrill Magnolia, smelled so fragrant it almost took your breath away.
Our temperatures had dropped from our very warm days earlier in the week and we'd had quite a rain the day before. Even so, the sky was blue and looking through the petals reminded me of an Impressionist painting.
Michigan State is not without its faults. You don't see that so much as a student, but when you work for an institution for 32 years, you see how the sausage gets made. The cover-ups during the Larry Nasser scandal are a good example of how the U tries to protect its own and its reputation at all costs and that's just one example.
But we have new president who seems to be very on task and has worked hard to rehabilitate the university. He is also an epidemiologist and they've done a remarkable job trying to both provide good educations to students while keeping them safe.
He's lucky to work and live on one of the loveliest campuses in the world. Above is the President's Home on the campus. Many choose not to live there, using it only for receptions, but I'm told he has decided to do so.
Beal Garden is a botanical garden with an array of odd plants and plenty of them. (This is the one I wrote about last year).
Many plants were up and this one was especially showy.
It also has a lovely reflecting pool and it was a perfect day for it, with moody skies that changed from blue to gray and back again.
The koi were loving it.
And it was a fun spot to try shadow puppets! (I couldn't resist, though I didn't want to get too close to the edge!)
The squirrels were out in full force. I must have counted dozens.
This one I caught in mid-air, leaping through the area where the trillium grown. It's a bit of a fuzzy photo but it's hard to hit a moving target!
The colors were beautiful -- glorious pinks....
....and the last of the daffodils. The tulips are now beginning to burst.
The gardens have interseting art. Note the gates at the top of the stairs leading out of the garden.
The stair rails are sculpted with metal pine cones.
When you look at the gate as a whole, you can see the stylized metal trees (and to me, until you look close, a bit of a hot mess...)
...but when you take a closer look at the gate itself, a splendid array of "foliage" is revealed.
I'm thinking maybe, just maybe, I can get things planted outdoors a little early. I wish I had a planting shed that looked like this instead of just a garage!
Ah, well. Can't have everything! And I am so grateful that what I do have is a glorious spring.
Bye for now!