Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Morning - What Do You Notice? by Morgan Mandel

Since it's so important to include the five senses in descriptions when we write, I decided to do a writing exercise this morning. It was simple. All I did was try and notice what was going on around me as I walked Rascal.

Here are some of my early morning observations from living in a medium sized suburb of Chicago:

What first struck me was the smell of fumes from a jet that had already flown by. Sometimes the fumes are so strong, I can almost taste them. This time it wasn't too bad.

I felt a cool breeze swirl around my hair. Later, the temperature might clime to eighty as predicted, but to start out, it was only fifty-something.

Next, I heard birds chirping. I couldn't tell what kind they were, but there were many, nothing like the bird sounds of winter, which are almost non-existent..

As I walked Rascal to the corner, I noticed a car pull up. A dog across the street barked as the driver threw a rolled up newspaper out the window. I heard the plunk as it landed.

A jogger ran by. I felt the pull on the leash and I had to hold tight, as Rascal felt threatened.

When I continued on, I couldn't help but admire the scents and sights of spring flowers. I noticed daffodils and tulips gracing partially green lawns.  

I saw a light turn on in one of the houses. Someone else was rising early.

The gate creaked as I re-entered our yard.

I walked into the house only to hear a commercial about spring home fix-ups and news about people being shot on the South Side of Chicago.

Now, what about you? What do you notice on an early Spring morning?

Morgan Mandel


Unknown said...

Morgan, as I was reading this, I felt as if you were in a trans while walking your dog. LOL
I always hear the birds chirping first. Those darn things wake me up every morning way before my time.
Then I notice the cold house, as I crawl out of bed. I like my windows open at night, and turn down the heat.

Of course my next observance is the time, and while I quietly say ' Oh sh##t' I run for the shower.

Then Im in trans myself as I drive through the congested parts of the suburbs and think when is this construction is going to end. Oh...this one is just starting.

Debra St. John said...

I always notice the scents of spring. The fresh, clean smell of a spring rain shower. The sweet fragrance of spring blooms, which put a tickle in my throat and threaten a sneeze. The damp earth as I turn it over to plant new seeds or bulbs.

Jeannie said...

Spring morning in my part of the world:

Hummingbird feeds, its irridescent feathers contrast against the wood tones of the juniper pine.

Sun rises over Watson Lake, warms my neck, awakens my spirit.

School bus waits for the local high school kids; they're late, again.

Robin takes his morning bath, leaves some water for the others.

Green sprouts stretch as the sun warms their new growth; more weeding to do this afternoon.

Rev. Dr. Anthony Burton said...

Here, the first thing I hear is usually the barking of a distant neighbor's dog.

Yesterday while out first thing, I heard blue jays and crows, and the scream of a hawk.

As it quietened, I heard the trickling of the small stream that flows at the base of the hill by our house.

There is almost always a constant soughing of wind through the leaves and branches, as our house is surrounded by sycamore, sweetgum, and tupelo poplar trees.

Recently the smells of apple blossoms, redbud blooms, and wild cherry flowers have added to the usual mix of scents. Soon, honeysuckle will be part of the blend.

Karla said...

I love the way one day its all brown and barren and bleak and almost overnight everything is green and flowering and budding. A rebirth.

Cheryl said...

Scents and sounds are big ones for me too. It takes a while for my garden to get going, most of the colors bloom later in spring and into summer, so I'm usually looking at half brown, half green stuff. With the woods behind us, the first thing I notice is all the tree frogs mumbling away and the woodpeckers coming back; though a robin in the front yard always means spring.

It is so funny that you wrote about this today because I've been giving workshops on this topic to a third grade class this week.


Jane Bierce said...

I'm seriously into gardening now, watching the breeze tease the lilacs and flowering trees, and my Steelers wind sock.

As I pull weeds, I smell the clay soil, the scent of the weeds, and an occasional whiff of narcissis.

Several species of cardinals, woodpeckers, pigeons and bluejays crowd my husband's birdfeeder, scolding eachother.

I pluck a sprig of spearmint from the herb garden, needing to freshen my mouth with its cool, sweet taste.

It's getting hotter, so I take off my sweatshirt and throw it over the back of a lawn chair, too busy to take it into the house.

Helen said...

I notice the creak of my knees as I go down the stairs, then how cold the tile feels once I walk down the hall to turn on my computer. Flipping the switch to start the coffee makes me smile, so I open the blinds and stare off into the blackness punctuated by small headlights on the highway in the distance.

Straight From Hel

Terry Odell said...

I've started paying attention to sensory input since I started writing. We've just moved to the Colorado mountains, and everything is new.

M.A. said...

I'm a resident in the Deep South. Spring announces itself quite timidly here, since our winters are so mild.

But, what I notice most in spring is a delicious metaphorical laughter as the oaks gain fresh foliage. Polished, brilliant green. With their drooping limbs and mossy trimmings, a trip past the park always brings to mind stately ladies exhibiting the latest fashions at a garden party.

Japanese magnolia announce spring in a whisper, still too cool to leave home without a jacket, but the subtle flash of color on these silver-barked trees heartens the spirit, reminds one winter is marching on.

At present, the azaeleas have erupted into a carnival of color. White, red, coral, magenta, baby pink... They're everywhere. Parks, residences, public buildings, university campuses. I don't know why I associate their brilliance with laughter, but I always have. Their beauty seems to be an open secret.

I love this time of year.

Margot Justes said...

I sat outside this afternoon reading a manuscript, and felt the magnolia blossoms sprinkle my chair. Their heavenly scent along with the blooming spring flowers made for a perfect relaxing afternoon. Alas, it's back to work in my office.
Margot Justes