Posted by: bree1972 | March 8, 2012

Contrasts 3/9/2012

As active double-nesters, Ted and I couldn’t have chosen two homes more different – weatherwise – than ours were this week.  If you read Wednesday’s Mackinac Island post (, you saw photo after photo of the Island dressed in her most splendid winter clothes.  With 14″ of snow on the ground and temps cold enough to keep it there, Islanders couldn’t have been happier.  They rode snowmobiles, cross-country skied, or just sat back and enjoyed the pristine white of an undisturbed thick blanket of snow – like the scene captured below by year-round resident Abby Holstrom:

At the southern end of that 1100 mile trail we travel each year, nature cooked up a scene so different you’d think we were on a different planet.  Here’s some Friday photos of our neighborhood at Lake Blackshear.

This white azalea bush is the only one blooming in our yard so far, but every other bush is filled with buds, ready to pop open. Bear and I walked next door to capture our neighbor's azaleas - all in full bloom!

I don't know why Judy and Hilton's azaleas bloom before anyone else's, but it could be because they never do anything to them. They live in Alabama and only come to their lake house a few times a year. We've lived next door to their place since 1996, and I've never seen them cut back a single branch or spray them with anything. On the other hand, we are constantly pruning, spraying for bugs, and fertilizing. Our azaleas look great, but they bloom at least two weeks after Judy and Hilton's do.

I love this salmon color!

This is the largest azalea bush I've ever seen, and it's that old-fashioned purple that used to be the only shade you'd ever see. It's decades and decades old and, to my knowledge, has never been pruned.

A close-up of a deep pink-colored bloom.

Bloom after bloom of pale pink . . .

. . . and a close-up.

Tall pines, blooming azaleas, blue sky and white, fluffy clouds. A perfect spring afternoon - in March.

Another shade of pink.

The azaleas aren't the only bushes springing to life. Green shoots are appearing on our fig tree (and a few spiderwebs) . . .

. . . and all our other trees are in a race to see which one can turn green the fastest!

Bear strikes a pose next to some pretty blooms.

We’re off to Florida on Friday to watch Matthew play soccer, visit some Ormond Beach tourist attractions, eat some fresh seafood, and try to survive three days of Bike Week!  I’ve been told we better pack our earplugs!  See you back here on Monday with news about our trip!

Ya’ll have a great weekend.  God bless.



  1. Wow! You’ve just given me a touch of Spring, my most favorite season of all. Beautiful azaleas each and every one of them. I can’t wait to see some green popping up here. Have a great time in Florida, safe travels my friend.

  2. Brenda,

    The azaleas are beautiful. I’ll take them over the snow any day, even though the snow is so beautiful too.

    I know you and Ted will have a great tome in Florida. Will Maddie and Bear be going this time?

    • Sadly no, Lowell. Julie & Matt are still in a “no pets allowed” rental. Maddie and Bear are pouting already.

  3. Enjoy bike week! Perhaps you and Ted will return home with his’n her Harleys! Vroom……..vroom………

  4. I love all of the shades of azaleas-that pink is one of my absolute favorite colors! I I had one puny little bush and it never did well-I don’t have a good spot for it in my yard, I guess…Hope you and Ted are having fun in Florida.

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