BriarCroft in Spring

maydogwood
the old pink dogwood revives every spring
What is all this juice and all this joy?
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Spring”
orchardpoplar
poplar row behind the apple orchard

Awake! Awake! for the earliest gleam
Of golden sunlight shines
On the rippling waves, that brightly flow
Beneath the flowering vines.
Awake! Awake! for the low, sweet chant
Of the wild-birds’ morning hymn
Comes floating by on the fragrant air,
Through the forest cool and dim;
Then spread each wing,
And work, and sing,
Through the long, bright sunny hours;
O’er the pleasant earth
We journey forth,
For a day among the flowers.
~
Louisa May Alcott Lily-Bell and Thistledown Song I

maydadrhodie
a favorite rhododendron

It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.
~John Galsworthy

mayupperpasture
a happy day put out to pasture
At morn when light mine eyes unsealed
I gazed upon the open field;
The rain had fallen in the night —
The landscape in the new day’s light
A countenance of grace revealed
Upon the meadow, wood and height.
 
The sun’s light was a smile of gold,
Ere shut by sudden fold on fold
Of surging, showering clouds from view;
No sooner hid than it broke through
A tearful smile upon the wold
Where earth reflected heaven’s blue.
 
The sky was as a canvas spun
To paint the new spring’s nocturns on;
A blended melody of tints —
The sea’s hue, and the myriad hints
Of garden-closes, when the sun
Hath stamped the work of nature’s mints.
 ~William Stanley Braithwaite
haflingervane
a happy day put out to blue skies in the breeze
rosemaryblossom
rosemary

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and green world all together,
Star-eyed strawberry breasted
Throstle above Her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within,
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.”
–  Gerard Manley Hopkins, The May Magnificat

kaleblossom
Kale going to seed

maywildflowers

“A delicate fabric of bird song 
Floats in the air, 
The smell of wet wild earth 
Is everywhere. 
Oh I must pass nothing by 
Without loving it much, 
The raindrop try with my lips, 
The grass with my touch; 
For how can I be sure 
I shall see again 
The world on the first of May 
Shining after the rain?” 
–  Sara Teasdale, May Day

tulipapril
grape hyacinth and tulips

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”
–  Ellis Peters

dandetulip

“Some will tell you crocuses are heralds true of spring 
Others say that tulips showing buds are just the thing 
Point to peonies, say when magnolia blossoms show 
I look forward to the sight of other flowers though 
Cultivate your roses, grow your orchids in the dark 
Plant your posies row on row and stink up the whole park 
The flower that’s my favourite kind is found throughout the land 
A wilting, yellow dandelion, clutched in a grubby hand.”
–  Larry Tilander, Springtime of My Soul 

transparentmay

“Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.”
–  Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring

skimmia
skimmia

“Poetry is the silence and speech between a wet struggling root of a flower and a sunlit blossom of that flower.” 
–  Carl Sandburg 

barnyew
yew pollen

“With the coming of spring, I am calm again. “
–  Gustav Mahler

firstpeony
the first of dozens of peonies

The wealthy man is not he who has money, but he who has the means to live in the luxurious state of early spring.
~Anton Chekhov

creepercreeping
Virginia Creeper starting to do its creeper thing

maycreeper

pinkfrombelow

maynorth
Canadian mountains to the north

“This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.”
–  D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring 

northeastmay

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
–  Robert Frost 

aprilsunrise4
spring sunrise over Mt Baker

“Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.”
–  Lucy Maud Montgomery, Spring Song

oldpink

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.” 
–  Audra Foveo 

tulipsam
Sam stops to smell the tulips

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
–  Mark Twain

needspainting
someone is looking his age….it was a rough winter

“Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”
–  Dorothy Parker   😉

See BriarCroft in Summer, in Autumn, in Winter,
at Year’s End

Hilltop Easter Sunrise Service Invitation

2013 Easter Sunrise Service at BriarCroft  — Sunday, March 31 at 7 AM
(formerly Walnut Hill Farm)

sunrise view from our hill–see more at our website at http://www.briarcroft.com/easter.htm

When we purchased Walnut Hill Farm from the Morton Lawrence family in 1990, part of the tradition of this farm was a hilltop non-denominational Easter sunrise service held here for the previous 10+ years.  We have continued that tradition, with an open invitation to families from our surrounding rural neighborhood and communities, as well as our church family from Wiser Lake Chapel, to start Easter morning on our hill with a worship service of celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

At our annual Easter Sunrise Service in Whatcom County, we develop a different Easter theme each year through use of scripture readings and songs, led by Dan Gibson. We sit on hay bales on the hill for the worship service, followed by breakfast of cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate and coffee in our barn.  As many of the people who attend come from some distance from all over the county, we try to conclude by 8 AM so they may have time to get to morning church services.

535851_2562541123166_1291594096_n546971_2562543003213_1807288052_n

552213_2562544363247_828834728_n562278_10150787215216119_1848824445_nthank you to Chris Lovegren for the four photos above of Sunrise Service 2012

We invite all to come to our farm to participate in this traditional service of celebration.  Please dress warmly with sturdy shoes as you will be walking through wet grass to reach the hilltop.  Bring heavy blankets or sleeping bags to wrap up in if it is a chilly morning.  In case of rain, we meet in the big red hay barn on the farm, so we never cancel this service.

If you would like more information and directions to our farm at 1613 Central Road, between Hannegan and Noon Road, please email us at emily@briarcroft.com

Dan and Emily Gibson