Nature at Yogaville

Swallowtail on Azalea

Swallowtail on azalea bush, Yogaville, Virginia, April 2013

In April, when I was in Virginia, we drove south out of Charlottesville to Buckingham.  Along the way, the woods were dappled with pink/lavender redbud trees and the occasional white dogwood.  We spent two days in Buckingham at Yogaville with friends.  Yogaville is a spiritual centre devoted to the teachings of Swami Satchidananda. 

Swallowtail on Azalea

Swallowtail on azalea bush near Nataraja shrine, Yogaville, April 2013

Yogaville View

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Nataraja Shrine at Yogaville, April 2013

The grounds of Yogaville are very beautiful.  One day we climbed to the Nataraja Shrine atop a hill.  There we saw the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance and looked out over LOTUS, the shrine to all faiths.  On the hilltop we saw vibrantly pink azaleas with many swallowtail butterflies alighting on the flowers.


Light of Truth Universal Shrine, Yogaville, April 2013

At another time, surrounded by the sounds of abundant bird song, I saw the first red bellied woodpeckers I’d ever seen.  They came to our friends’ bird feeders outside their woodland house. Many goldfinches also came to feed as did downy woodpeckers, titmice, ruby throated hummingbirds and, of course, squirrels.  These were some of the plumpest I’ve seen—healthier looking than their urban cousins in Toronto.  


Red Bellied Woodpecker at feeder, Yogaville in Buckingham Virginia, August 2013

At the Edge of the Brick Works

Brick Works

By the Brick Works, Toronto, May 16/13

Several days ago and today, Victoria Day in Canada, I went to one of my favourite haunts–the Evergreen Brick Works.  Sometimes the textures and shapes of the landscape call out to me to be photographed in black and white.  These were from wooded paths around the perimeter of the Brick Works, some of which lead to ravines that wind through the city.

Brick Works

Path just above the Brick Works, Victoria Day, 2013

Brick Works

Willow Tresses over a path above the Brick Works, Victoria Day 2013, Toronto


Pink Tree

Spring in Toronto, May 2013

We’ve had a week of sunshine and warm weather in Toronto–like a dream of love.  This has given way to rain and cooler temperatures which will make the plants quite happy.


Toronto garden, May 2013


Tulips after rain, Toronto, May 2013

The gardens have been bursting with flowers. Magnolias, redbud trees, flowering plums, tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, forget me nots, periwinkles and violets have greeted me throughout the neighbourhood.  Two days ago, the yellow green maple flowers began dusting the sidewalks and lawns.  And at the Brick Works and Todmorden Mills, the sun and leaves of budding trees have formed canopies of light.

These have been joyful days to be alive amidst birdsong and the return of vibrant colour.

Todmorden Mills

Todmorden Mills, Toronto, May 2013.

While in Charlottesville


Woods and stream in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

Last week when I was in Virginia, I stopped in Charlottesville.  Off the main roads, we walked in a wooded area accompanied by the melodies of song birds.  The trees and plants had put forth spring yellow-green foliage.  This was wonderful to see after travelling south from Toronto where only the first buds had begun to show.  Not that those hadn’t been welcome too, just that spring was at a more abundant stage in Virginia.


Dwarf irises in the woods, Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

 In the woods, I came upon wild violets and pale lavender dwarf irises arising through last autumn’s leaves.   A small stream flowed nearby and the temperature was in the upper 70s.


Redbud tree in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

 To and from the woods, we walked across landscaped ground.  Redbud trees were in bloom with tulips and azaleas in a garden plus another pale green flower I have not identified. The dogwood in flower is from a nearby location.


Dogwood tree in Charlottesville, Virginia, April, 2013