Spring: Creek, Flowers, Critters

Light fading on creek

Light fading on creek

Chilly air really stuck around this year; that’s odd. I went to the stream only a week or so back, for a warm, gala evening. Colors are back on the water. They’re more muted than in the creek photos from autumn, in this post:


Notice there is no creek post for winter. Not even snow, a rarity here, was enough to get me outside in the cold. I don’t do winter.

Twilight glitter

Twilight glitter

Water and rocks perform the audio tonight. Slanty sunrays do the light show.

Blooming was slightly out of sequence this spring. But the earliest budders were nonplussed by the chill, “What the hey, we’re comin’ on”.

Violet sweetness

Violet, sturdy and sweet

A wildflower that vounteers all over town, spiderwort can also be cultivated

A wildflower that volunteers all over town, Spiderwort can also be cultivated

Spiderwort bloomed in April, in town. Although an urban heat island is always warmer, to my thinking that’s still early. We usually don’t see it until June. The fig tree made fruit at the same time it was putting out leaves; highly unusual. Now blackberries are bursting out amidst my Mom’s vinca, they probably blew in with the 2011 tornado.

Spiderwort with leaves of unknown identity

Spiderwort hangin’ out with red leaves of unknown identity

Tree of mystery

Tree of mystery

This early bloomer was right on schedule. The tree’s most likely a crabapple, but has never fruited.

Wild Wisteria

Wild Wisteria

Out at the forest, wisteria was late, and scarce, although timely and profuse in town. A hint of the scent on a light wind can be maddening – in a good way.

March meeting of birds

March meeting of birds



A month or so back, birds swarmed these trees. Cool temperatures didn’t faze them. I identified one male cowbird and one starling; I believe the rest were mostly female cowbirds.

Iris bud ready to burst

Iris bud ready to burst

Three phases of iris

Three phases of iris

I prefer wildflowers, except for the purple glory of iris. These are my late Mom’s.  The sun puts a near metallic sheen on the bud in the first picture.

So many gray days this spring! Right after sunset on March 16th, the anniversary of the infamous pet food recall of 2007, the forest sky was slate gray along with a deep blue. The contrast doesn’t really show up in the photo:

Spooky spring sky

Spooky spring sky

Reflections come from the opposite creekbank

Reflections from the opposite bank

Cloudy evening

Cloud effect

Cloudy evening makes for pastel creek shades, two days before the severe weather night of April 28, 2014. For each tornado radar signature, the weathercasters read out towns and places in the possible path, bringing to mind names of people we know living in those places. Then suddenly we were in the polygon for a tornado; an F1 went right over a neighbor’s house. It was aloft, not reaching ground. In town, it had been on the ground and had done damage; it lifted before it got here. That was a day after the third anniversary of being in the F4 of 4.27.11.  Story at link:  https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/tornado-on-the-ground-tuscaloosa-april-27-2011-3/

I am not pleased. I’m sick of playing whack-a-mole with tornados; we are the moles.

Madame Curious likes scaffolding

Madame Curious likes scaffolding

Madame Curious scrutinizing and supervising

Madame Curious scrutinizing and supervising

While I snap pictures and my husband repairs damage to the house in town from the F4 three years ago, the feral cat Madame Curious stays with him and meows instructions. She’s quite helpful. It’s astonishing how much that cat knows about masonry and even carpentry. I had to break it to her gently that I have the sayso about choosing colors, though. She didn’t like hearing that humans have a broader spectrum of color vision than cats do.

Creek's edge

Creek’s edge

Back to the forest and the creek for breathers, for perspective, and to refresh the spirits, always. This post from last spring expresses our feelings for the creek: https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tributary-becoming-green-warriors-of-the-red-earth-country/



And, this is not far away. We’re in the southernmost part of the Appalachians, USA, Earth.

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Cats, Creeks, Feral Cats, Nature, Tornadoes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Spring: Creek, Flowers, Critters

  1. It has been such a treat to visit your blog. I love how you capture not just the world in your Photograpy but then take the time to tell the story and share your passion. You are so talented. You would make a wonderful hiking buddy.

    Thank you for finding Autums Rush so I could find you.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, rolinda! The pleasure is all mine in finding your blog, I love your artwork! So I’m going to follow you once I’ve posted this. I’ve been a painter so I frequently look at the painting blogs in the reader. Hiking, and doing plein air painting, would certainly be fun!

  2. Robin says:

    I love photos of reflections and my favorite time of year is when the leaves change colors. I felt like it was a short fall season here in the mid-Atlantic region. It has been a while since you have posted. Or should I be looking somewhere else?

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the reflection pictures, Robin! I like fall too, and it wasn’t very long here in the southeast this year either. This is my only web site. I just don’t post often, only about every other month or so, due to health problems/heavy schedules. I hope to post again in about 2 or 3 weeks.

  3. Tom Schultz says:

    Some very welcome colors to view at the end of December. 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, Tom! Glad you enjoyed the photos. I’m not so fond of winter colors myself, so it may be next spring before I post creek pictures again. Maybe not, will see.

  4. sarasinart says:

    What a lovely post this is! Your pictures are wonderful.

  5. Beautiful photos! I especially like the light on the water in the creek pics!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you like the pictures! I certainly enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your gorgeous artwork and photos!

  6. beautiful pictures. Many thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it.

  7. tulika73 says:

    How knowledgeable you are about nature, lovely photos, too. I grew up in the country and miss observing all the birds ands flowers. 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, tulika73! I can understand the feeling of missing the country. I actually grew up in a city, and was always drawn to the natural world.

  8. A.D. Everard says:

    These are BEAUTIFUL photos! And I agree – I don’t do Winter, either (not well, at any rate, I have a tendency to hibernate).

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. Winter makes me very inactive, everyone else likes it, but I’m just contrary, I prefer summer!

      • A.D. Everard says:

        I like Winter, but I don’t like moving in it. The ideal Winter experience for me would be a nice warm fire, double or triple glazing and a magnificent view. Oh, and plenty of port or scotch. I could stay there until Spring. 🙂

        I’m with you, actually. Winter is great to look at, but I prefer Summer, too – I certainly get more done.


  9. Kev says:

    Nice post.

  10. noir33 says:

    a beautiful place to live!

  11. Karen B says:

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my photos.
    Please know how much I hope that the “medical matters” situation improves very soon. Something I find so hard is making such heartfelt connections and not being able to do anything practical to help.
    Kindest Regards, from Karen and the cats! – Otto (the kitty in the chives), Ossie and Josef.

  12. Karen B says:

    Although I follow you, I have not seen you appear in my reader for such a long time. I am so, so sorry not to have been in touch.
    I so appreciate your support on my blog, I don’t think you have ever missed a post and it is such a comfort to see your “like”, with the cat photo.
    I have had a trying time and am coming through a divorce. I never thought I would make it, but here I am, living through it.
    Please do not worry about responding to this comment ( I have read your comment at the top of the page). But please know how much I value your support. My blog is a total life line.
    Thank you and best wishes,
    P.S Loved the blossom and the puss-cat!

    • Catwoods says:

      Karen, it is good to hear from you! I’m so sorry you’ve been through such a tough time but I am glad to know you are coming through. I enjoy visiting your blog, your photography is just gorgeous and it always gives me a lift, cheers me up! Of course I must admit to being partial to the pictures of the black-and-white kitty in the chives!
      It could be a month or so before I can do blog posts again, I have so much going on now . . . and I of course I hope to comment on other blogs when time opens up. Your support means a great deal and I’m just sorry my day is taken up with medical matters, so I don’t thank anyone nearly enough!
      One thing I am trying to do is enjoy the summer while we can, it goes so fast . . . Nice and green here now, and cooler than usual.
      Warmest wishes,

  13. elmdriveimages says:

    Great work….really good composition…thanks for liking Muffin on my Elm Drive Images

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, elmdriveimages! I like your photos and I really enjoyed your picture of Muffin. So nice that you are taking care of a feral kitty!

  14. gertloveday says:

    What an absolutely beautiful blog! Thanks for liking our cat poem post.

  15. Lydia Bess says:

    Love the photos and the stories that go along with them. Thanks for sharing!

  16. cdog5 says:

    I’ve nominated YOU for a Liebster Award! Please see my site for the details. I really do enjoy reading your blog posts and always look forward to seeing what you have to say — and I think that makes you worthy of this blogging award!

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m very flattered and honored to be nominated for this award by you, C-dog and company! Thank you so much! I’m also flattered that you enjoy my blog; I certainly enjoy yours! Unfortunately, I have to decline the award because I can’t fulfill the requirements at this time. I hope you understand; I am facing many pressing matters, most involving family health, and have declining energy. I manage to check into wordpress every day and operate at ‘click like buttons’ speed, but I’m not very often at ‘compose comment’ speed. Because of this, I have rarely been able to comment on blogs of others who have been so kind in commenting on mine. And I feel it could be roughly two months before I can do an actual post again, so writing up things about myself isn’t something I can do now.

      I hope this will change in the future! I do plan to slowly get back to blogging, doing posts, expanding the list of ‘blogs I visit’, and commenting on the blogs of others. Maybe I can then participate in the awards; that looks like a fun way to communicate with and support other bloggers!

      I’ll cross-post this on both your blog and mine.

  17. gbebensee says:

    Lovely photos. I particularly like the iris bud ready to burst!

  18. Candace says:

    So pretty and diverse there!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, Candace! There’s a lot of biodiversity that we hope to preserve. It’s not always so easy to keep environmental concerns from being overwhelmed by industries here, but we try.

  19. cdog5 says:

    These are beautiful photos — and through them I can see that you live in a beautiful place! The colors are just gorgeous! And of course I must comment about your kitty: adorable!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, cdog5! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. And wild though she is, the kitty still likes to be admired! This is a beautiful place indeed, although it can also be trying. I actually enjoy the summer air that’s taking over now, making the days intoxicating.

      • cdog5 says:

        Catwoods, you do live in the woods, right? I’m only asking because I’m curious about your “trying” comment — curious because we recently bought a small cabin in the woods, and while I do love it, I’m starting to see how if we lived here it could be “trying” with all the outdoors chores. 🙂

        • Catwoods says:

          We do live in the woods, and although we planted a few cultivars, we mostly let the forest tend itself. My husband does plan to apply a natural remedy to some of the poison ivy! There are certainly sharp differences between living in this remote wild area and staying in town. Here there is isolation, it’s buggy, and there might be a snake on your path to the mailbox one morning. It takes some getting used to. There are perks of course, you can see many more stars at night than in town with all the lights. But a dark night with scanty neighbor lights can feel lonely, too. And, we hear coyotes at night sometimes; we have to be very careful with our pets. Although I have heard an occasional report of coyotes seen in town.

  20. awax1217 says:

    Pictures that enchant the mind. Easy to look at and reflect their beauty.

  21. What lovely eyes that cat has! PS, I think you’re right about that crab apple identification. I think ours gets some apples but the critters take care of *that* for us. 😉 Take care during twister season!!!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Lori! Madame Curious will be pleased to hear that, in her feral sort of way! The tree came from my husband’s grandparents’ yard and was known as a “Judas tree”; I can’t recall how we came across the idea of crabapple, but interesting to hear that you have a similar tree, so we likely have it pegged correctly. Weather personnel are saying our tornado season may be over for now, yay! Until fall, of course, when we have a second season here.

  22. Beautiful post. Love the reflected colors in the pond and the flowers.

  23. Kate Gilmore says:

    I forget to look on the “social” side of my email, then what a treat to find a beautiful catwoods blog. The spring flowers are gorgeous. We have iris too, a thick row of deep but brilliant purple exactly like the VanGogh painting. I loved the starling and the spooky spring sky. And thank you for the picture of the lovely Appalachians. It helps explain why you live in tornado land and is certainly more beautiful than anything I see right to hand. (not my day for spelling, I fear)

    • Catwoods says:

      Kate, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! Our iris seem to have gone now, but a few linger around town. Iris go way back to my early childhood and I’ve always loved them. That Van Gogh painting is one of my favorites! Much as I like the scenery here I do sometimes have an urge to get away from tornado country. My husband walked the path of that last one through our neighborhood, and figuring by tree downings and damage, it appears to have gone over 3 neighbors’ houses rather than just one; the houses are fairly far apart, but still. We were all fortunate it was up in the air! Any move away would mean leaving lifetime friendships and community here, not so easy at our age.

  24. Meanderer says:

    Lovely set of images. How wonderful to have wild wisteria growing there!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, Meanderer! I love the wisteria and only wish it would come back in the profusion that it used to in the forest. Something about the warm/cold cycles has disrupted it. In town it’s robust as ever.

  25. Madame Curious is gorgeous! *(trills)*

  26. Debra says:

    What amazing photos. There is so much to love here. I don’t know how you captured the light on the water. Wow.

  27. vera ersilia says:

    What a great post. I love all the photos of water and the spooky sky. I believe that the
    ‘not-identified’ may be Nandina… but I have not checked on google.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and also for the tip about the Nandina. I will look that up when I have a moment!

      • vera ersilia says:

        … the ‘nandina’ – or possibly a cousin called ‘heavenly bamboo’ – it grew quite well and big in my California garden but it was a tremendous catcher of powdery mildew and I had to to get rid of it. Tough devil of a plant to send away !!

  28. Great set of photos! I haven’t seen starlings around our knock of the desert yet. It’s the iris time of year. Our iris are happy this year, despite the dryness. And, of course, I love the kitty photos.

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