Spring and Easter – all at the same time.  Bright colors, light colors, the colors of spring.  This flowering crabapple bonsai seemed to sum up the season and the day.   Wishing you the bright colors and warmth and joy of spring and Easter!

fern-design-14021_staatsI spent a couple of hours this morning at the McNeely Conservatory at Como Park.  The flowers were beautiful and the rain gradually cleared away while I was there.  But today I was seeing lines, rather than colorful flowers.  I spotted this fern near a window.  Gracefully it arched upward, and its tips hung down and even swirled over itself.  I walked around the fern and photographed many of the branches.  And then I saw this one as I was looking down.  Its green color was complimented by the flooring stones and it spread and twirled below where I stood.  For some reason this image became all about the simplicity, the lines, the colors, and the gracefulness of the fern.

McNelly Conservatory after fresh snowfall_Staats12062Friday morning we awoke to a fresh snowfall.  The dingy remnants of the earlier snow were whitened, the snow that fell overnight lay coating the trees, the wind was still, and the temperature was hovering around freezing –  all the elements of a perfect snowfall.  As I headed out the door to work, I made a “scheduled” detour to Como Park and the McNeely Conservatory.  The lights inside the conservatory gave off a warm glow to the glass in contrast to the blue and white of the snow.  And the snow-covered trees were sentinels of the beauty of this winter morning.  In the stillness and beauty of the early morning it was just me photographing, and the snowplow driver clearing the roads and paths in the park.

cineraria-primroses_staatsWinter still has its hold on us here in Minnesota.  We vacillate from cool to cold, cool to warm, and all the variations in-between.  We have snow, it thaws, it freezes, then thaws again, leaving us in the middle of “mud season” (as a good friend of mine calls it).  So when I get tired of winter and need a jolt of spring I go to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.    The current Sunken Garden display is filled with cineraria, primrose, azalea, cyclamen, foxglove and lilies.  It’s a welcome visual and aromatic jolt to the winter-weary senses, and gives us the reassurance that spring can’t be too far away… maybe only another flip of the calendar page, from March to April???