Not being much of a church-goer, I tend to think of Easter more in the pagan terms it's drawn from. My favorite thing about this particular religious holiday is that it's set by its relation to the equinox and the phase of the moon, rather than being attached to a date on the calendar.
And, too, I've been walking a lot the last few weeks, part of getting past some arthroscopic knee surgery. The destination of choice has been Radnor Lake, a popular natural area in Nashville. March 21:
Things have been changing quickly over the last few weeks, as the riot called spring proceeds in the South. The same location a mere 16 days later (April 5):
Toting the camera along, a few of spring's fleeting events have been captured. No matter which holidays and beliefs you share, my pictures are offered up as a celebration of life and renewal and hope. Early on, from the first walk, which was a short one:
Animal, vegetable or mineral? Less often appreciated is the role of fungus in the cycles of life.
In the forest, there's a lot of flowering in the understory before the top tree canopy leafs out. The redbuds are one of the first:
Dogwoods, also sometimes employed as an Easter symbol due to the cruciform bracts surrounding the blossoms:
It all passes so quickly. A fierce storm front comes through, and suddenly not only is the canopy leafing out, but there's a scattering of dogwood on top of last fall's leaf fall. (And amongst the new shoots of poison ivy!)
This little stream is called Otter Creek, the largest stream in the small watershed that feeds the lake.
It all passes so quickly, too. Only 2 weeks after the picture of the distant deer in the still-bare forest, the lilacs at the visitor center are already getting stale:
And, gradually, the spring wildflowers are overshadowed by later growth:
It's also migratory season and display time for the avifauna, where the males tend to be decked out in flashier finery than the females. These are Wood Ducks, one of my personal favorites:
The turkeys are out in force, strutting and booming, and causing hikers to stop in their tracks as they own the trail:
Somehow, as the trees leaf out, the abundant forest vines become more apparent:
At this moment, though, the trail beckons. Today will be a good day to enjoy the cathedral of the trees while so many others will be causing traffic jams around the mega-church parking lots. (There is a snarky observation at loose in the world that you can see Tennessee churches from space.)
It's such a gift to be walking again, albeit tentatively. And it's close to a miracle that Hobbs can do this kind of walking after double hip replacement (thanks to Obamacare, rather than answered prayers.)
Have a fine day everyone. Enjoy the spring, at whatever phase it's at where you are. It passes so quickly!