|The black asphalt and yellow lines are in stark contrast to the beauty on the sides of the road. The wild azalea is in bloom, a pink, almost salmon color with the look of a pink honeysuckle bush. They are rarer now than when I was a child when the roadsides were lush with their growth. Pollution and man's infringement has caused them to be sparse. The wild rhododendron is not yet blooming but other colors along the road make a rainbow of loveliness.
The Dogwood, Virginia’s State tree, stands lovely on the edge of the woods; its petals shaped as in a cross. If you can believe the legend, its four petals are stained with the blood of Jesus. Tiny little buds that open into miniscule little individual flowers form a crown of thorns in the center of the four petals. The legend says that the Dogwood bears the punishment for being the tree from which the cross was made. The flowers stand out from the woods and face upward toward Heaven for the tree has not yet begun to sprout its leaves.
Tiny Pilgrim Ladies look like miniature blue stars along the side of the road. Blue and Grey Violets intermingled with purple violets cover the ground. Trees are exquisitely green from the spring rains that April brought. The dampness has brought the fiddleneck ferns out of the ground, some totally unfurled and full and lush, and some just opening their heads to the sun.
Birds flit from tree to tree and find insects that are starting a life cycle that is cut short by the hungry beaks. Gold finches flit here, there, swooping low, and rising high in the sky. The Virginia bluebird has made a comeback from its near extinction, and it is joyful to see its bright hue sitting on the bare branch of the dogwood.
The red cardinal sits high on a branch and searches for its insect prey. Its red feathers make a lovely contrast to the green woods behind it. The singing of the birds rivals with the croaking of the spring frogs hopping from their creekbeds, little tail still intact.
It is springtime in Virginia. The world is awakening from the grey death of winter, or was there only slumber? Warm temperatures seduce the sleeping plants from their leafy beds. Welcome springtime!
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