Sunday, March 29, 2009

Images of Spring




March started grey, cold and wet and hopes of an early spring seemed to disappear. But then it changed. And wow did it change. The temperature shot up, and the sky turned a clear blue. And before long ...


The forsythia came out.

It's rare for Milan to look good but if it happens, it happens in March. As we get very little wind, there's usually a pall of smog hanging over the city. The EU sets limits of pollution (measured by the level of particles in the air) which it considers "acceptable" and allows cities to exceed those limits for no more than 35 days a year before they impose fines. By the end of February, we'd become the first European city to exceed that total.

So thank goodness March brought winds. Warm ones at first, which had the trees budding and cleared the usual grungy colour of the sky ....


And for almost the whole month we've been able to see the mountains - something that usually happens no more than a few times a year.


Soon the cherry blossom started to come out too, but sadly didn't last long. A few hours of very, very strong gusty winds one day destroyed it before we'd had time to enjoy it. Just sad for the ornamental trees, but dangerous for the "real" fruit trees. The greengage tree below the balcony, which feeds the flocks of great tits and the chaffinches which live in the garden in summer, wasn't in flower for more than a couple of days. We shall see later this year.

Luckily I'd been out with my camera the day before the winds came ...



.. and just walking round our block had taken all these photos except for the one of the mountains, which was taken during a walk in a local park. The mimosa tree at the bottom of the road was in full bloom ...
... and the gardens around the appartment blocks were full of magnolias



The good weather and clear air went on for three weeks. Too good to be true of course, and March is going out as it came in - cold, wet and grey. And without the March winds, next month the smog will come back. Ah well. At least we had those three weeks.


19 comments:

Janet said...

What beautiful shots of spring. I love the mountain picture.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Looks like spring is definitely arriving! Lovely blooms!

Cameron

Cathy said...

Such beautiful trees and shrubs

Chandramouli S said...

I'm glad you had the camera with you too. How beautiful Milan looks in the beginning of Spring! So, how are the tulips now in your balcony?

Stephanie said...

Dear Sue, So wonderful to be able to get glimpses of flowers at your place. Keep the photos coming! I hope the cherry blossoms re-bloom after destroyed by the gusty wind :-)

Jan said...

All this rain and freezing cold has come as a bit of a shock after a couple of weeks of warmth... I even had to unearth my hat and gloves this morning!

kompoStella said...

you've certainly made my longing for spring a lot stronger with this post, Sue! great pictures of poetic flowers... especially the magnolia makes me tingle with longing. somewhat ironic, as i read your post full of flowers just after i posted one full of ice :-/ i hope you enjoyed it - it sure looks like you did!

Green thumb said...

Enjoy the good thing till it lasts! The photographs are marvellous, specially those of the mountains.

RainGardener said...

Your pictures are great Sue. Especially that shot with the mountains. Spring is springing out all over!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Yay for forsythia and other springcelebrants! Here the redwing blackbirds have finally arrived, and the snow is melting slowly but surely.

Barbee' said...

Brilliant skies and lovely flowers, thank you for showing us around. That mountain view is to be envied, too bad you don't get to have it year round.

Rowena said...

So that's what those yellow flowers are (the forsythia). We were on our way back home from sp€nding too much at Leroy Merlin's ;-) and my husband commented on how beautiful the color looked.

Funny thing what you mentioned on Milan because March is the only month where I'd consider visiting the city. The last time (2 years?) that we were there it was gusty enough to fly a kite, but boy was the sky a gorgeous blue!

Silvia said...

Forsythia looks nice, as always! Magnolias simply gorgeous! We are waiting for the Milan's warm air to come to Bucharest also!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

So glad you captured that mountain in your photo...it's a keeper:-)
You have such a variety of blooms...suddenly! It must be uplifting to see color, finally! I didn't realize fines would be imposed on areas w/too high a smog level!

Carrie said...

Fabulous photos, just loved seeing all that colour on the trees. I'm going to be in Milan for 2 days in a month - I know NOTHING about it, didn't even realise there was such a beautiful mountain range right there. Oh, you have whet my appetite.

Kerri said...

How wonderful to find such beautiful images in Milan, at least for a short while. You took some great photos which will help you remember the beauty.
That mountain view is gorgeous.
Happy spring!

LadyLuz said...

Happy Easter, Sue. So lovely to see things blooming in your neck of the woods.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Beautiful!

I have never seen a mimosa tree before. Here, a mimosa is a peachy summer drink :)

Lovely photos.

Wolf said...

Hello,
what wonderfull pictures. I just started a garden-blog about my garden in Germany. Now at the same time I started to shoot some nice picture, sorry not only some. I made already hundred but the quality her is normally much better. I have to learn.

Wolf
A garden friend from Germany
http://www.garten-anders.de
http://www.garten-anders.blogspot.com

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