Saturday Snapshot May 31: After the Rain

Ever since I first read Annie Dillard, I’d wanted to see Puget Sound. But after all these years, I’ve been firmly rooted in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. My neck of the woods is a boreal forest. So, I’m more at home with spruce trees than sandy beaches. Puget Sound will have to remain on my bucket list.

All through winter, spruce and pines are sustenance, the bulwark and shelter for birds and small creatures that stay behind, and me.

After two days of spring rain, I ventured out just when it broke clear slightly, and was mesmerized by the greens. From among the hardy spruce, the aspens burst out to embrace spring.


Walking into the green Ripple Effects



The tall, slender trunks, each a natural canvas




Colours and textures wrapped around


Nature's canvas


and moss as paints.


Moss on branch


Moss on tree stump


Nature’s artwork

Moss on tree trunk


Moss or fungus? No matter. Here’s life

Moss, Fungi, or Ivory?


Monet in Nature



And I couldn’t resist the capture, even though just a common sparrow, obscure, blocked by a branch:



Nature’s Artist at work in Annie Dillard’s Puget Sound as well as my Boreal Forest. Her descriptions are strikingly close to what I had experienced.

“I see a hundred insects moving across the air, rising and falling. Chipped notes of birdsong descend from the trees, tuneful and broken; the notes pile about me like leaves.”


Despite geographical distances and variance in environs, her words resonate:

“Time and space are in touch with the Absolute at base.”

– Annie Dillard, Holy The Firm


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy Reads. CLCIK HERE to see what others have posted.

 Photos in this post taken by Arti of Ripple Effects

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

35 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot May 31: After the Rain”

  1. Beautiful display of color! The greens are so welcome after the past winter. I’ve been so obsessed with migrating birds I haven’t paid enough attention to the textures and colors of the emerging spring life.

    It must have been a productive year for the trees up north last winter. Not a single Red-breasted Nuthatch migrated to my yard. And I so enjoy hosting them for the winter.


    1. Leslie,

      The green trees were just breathtaking. That was a surprise. For a birder though, those leaves were blocking bird sighting. Like the quote, “the notes pile about me like leaves”, but I could hardly see any birds to take photos of. Except this sparrow.


  2. I’ve always enjoyed seeing aspens and pine together, but I’ve always and only seen autumn photos, when the aspens turn yellow. This view is equally beautiful, as the new green emerges. And you have such straight-trunked trees. Ours tend to spread, and are often twisted and gnarly, or bent by the prevailing winds. East Texas has its pine forests, but we have to travel a bit even to see those.

    Wonderful photos, and nice references to one of my favorite books.


    1. Linda,

      You might wonder how my title ‘After the rain’ has got to do with these pictures. I should have mentioned that in the post too. It’s because of the rain’s moisture that makes the leaves look so beautiful and the whole scene so mesmerizing. And due to the moisture, the moss grow so profusely. I went back the next day which was dry and sunny, I couldn’t find much colourful mosses on the trees anymore. As for Annie Dillard, I find her writing is universal beyond space and time.


  3. The fact that sparrow made it into one of your Saturday Snapshot posts with your usual array of great images Arti no longer makes that particular little bird common. If it knew, it would probably by chirp-bragging about it to all its peers.


    1. LA,

      LOL! I should be the one feeling honoured, for that’s the only bird picture I got on that walk. Because of all the leaves, I could hardly see the birds although I could hear their calls. 🙂


  4. What a gorgeous series of photos! I loved your commentary too. The green in that first pic is astonishing. I hope you make it to Puget Sound one day sound- it’s such a gorgeous area, and not all that far away really.


    1. Louise,

      I know, Puget Sound actually isn’t too, too far, but just that I’ve never had the chance and time to visit. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new birding experience there. Some day. But then again, it could have changed a lot (or has it?) since Annie Dillard wrote about it in 1975.


  5. Ah, I entered the serenity of your place in the world through your pictures. And the sparrow – no, she is not ‘just’ a common sparrow – no more than each of us is just a ‘common’ human being. We each (human, tree, moss) have a beauty, as you captured here.


  6. Pines are my favorite trees ever. I’ll never forget stepping out of my car after midnight the very first time I entered Lake Tahoe. I couldn’t see a thing, but the smell of the lines is still in my nose even now. Your photographs are breathtaking, Arti. I feel you’ve taken me with you into the woods.


    1. Bellezza,

      Thanks for coming along on this virtual tour. Wish I could include the smell too. I definitely know what you’re talking about when you mentioned about the smell of the evergreens… especially after the rain. Absolutely refreshing and quietly exhilarating. 😉


    1. Ginny,

      I know moisture is the prime factor for their growth. That’s why after the rain, they thrived. As for pollutants, here we have some of the best air quality I suppose, esp. in the forests.


  7. Indeed, some things are more or less the same, no matter where they are. And isn’t all that green so welcome after a winter of white? every photo is exquisite — indeed, painting with moss could be no more true than here. I love every bit of detail you have shared, the tight close-ups and of course, the beautiful sparrow. Simply lovely.


    1. Jeanie,

      You know, the mosses were lovely only when there’s moisture, that’s why I found everything is clear and clean after the rain. I went back there the next day which was dry and sunny and couldn’t find as many mosses as the day before.


  8. Arti,
    I relish your photos and your words. The colors you captured were so vivid i think i actually could smell the forest!! keep on walkin’ in the woods — and sharing.


    1. Stefanie,

      I’m sure we share some similar environs, albeit AB is not as moist as MN. That’s why right after the rain everything looks gorgeous.


  9. When everyone else has said it all, what more can I say except, me, too. I totally love these nature photos. Graven images could be no more holy, or worthy of devotion than Nature, herself (or his). And, Nature lives everywhere.
    Thank you for sharing.


  10. Wonderful pictures of your boreal forest! I wasn’t sure what boreal meant so off I went looking for the different kinds of forests on our earth. Found out I live in a temperate deciduous forest. Thank you for stimulating my curiosity.


  11. Nature is such an elegant and subtle artist. Her whimsy is everywhere, waiting for us to discover, and to thus be charmed and inspired.

    I love watching and listening to birds. Boyfriend and I once listened to a mockingbird singing and were able to unravel at least 5 different birdsongs from its repertoire! (I find them delightful even when they attack me, as one did a few weeks ago when I inadvertently walked just a Little Too Close to its nest)


  12. That lime green and orange look so lovely together in nature, although you wouldn’t necessarily put them together if you were deciding what to wear would you? Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing.


  13. I must read Dillard – didn’t know she wrote about Puget Sound. We have been there – went to the San Juan Islands and then onto Vancouver Island. You should go one day, but your photos show a region that’s just as beautiful. I love photographs of trees (as I guess my blog name gives away!)


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