Once upon a time, before the COVID virus kept us sheltering in the place, we might have spent an April day visiting gardens or traveling to some special place where we were sure to be thrilled by spring.

Mother taking young girl’s picture in field of tulip flowers during Tulip Festival, Skagit Valley Washington

Now most of us are staying home and the idea of driving to a special place is out of the question.

Indeed, many of the parks and open-space areas have closed their parking lots and have restricted access to locals who can walk or bike to them.  All public gardens are closed.

But of course, nature continues on with her spring show whether we are there to see it or not.

Bear Valley California field of wildflowers with Owl’s Clover (Orthocarpus) and Lupin with spring green hills

In California, wildflower season is in full swing; spring is not cancelled.  But rather than be sad that we can’t see it, we can use this as an opportunity to go find beauty right where we are.

Go out, stroll the neighborhood and make a point to find beauty. Find it locally in the smallest of things, in the most subtle of ways; open your senses to beauty that’s always there.

Front yard garden with California native plants

Go out and smell the unusually fresh air, listening for birds that seem more plentiful this year, watch for wildflowers, and notice trees with their fresh new leaves.  But then, don’t stop looking for beauty – find it in many things beyond nature and the natural world.

Detail of bearded Iris ‘Chickasaw Sue’ flowering in California spring garden

There is something special in the human soul that allows us to comprehend beauty to be soothed by it and to see it as something bigger than us.

We find beauty in music, art, the written word; there is beauty in craftsmanship, in the way things work, in how things are made; there is beauty in people just going about their day, in their hearts and friendships; their is beauty in the laughter of children.

Acer palmatum Japanese maple tree spring leaves unfolding.

But it is spring, and beauty is out every door. Mother Nature is making it easy to be inspired by just going outside with eyes open and the sensed turned on. Look closely at almost any plant.

Ribes speciosum, Fuchsia-flowering Gooseberry, California native shrub flowering in spring.

I walk our neighborhood every day with my sheep dog, Kona, and I do recognize that I am very blessed that my neighborhood includes a lot of open space out my door. 

Photographing Wyethia on Cherry Hill with Kona

But I do get out every day, and I do try to find something different, and I do post pictures to Instagram with hopes that you can go looking for beauty outside your own doors.

Wildflowers on my hill, Wyethia glabra

Go find beauty, find it all around you.

Instagram – Walks with Konadog