Hope Springs: A Photographer Captures the Season of Renewal

As winter turned to spring, photographer S.P. Murray took photos of the natural world waking up.
words and photography by S.P. Murray

For my family, spring is about celebrating every flower and cherishing longer days. It’s about the extra warmth from the sun, the eternal hope, and the promise of Easter. In these photographs, I tried to capture that spirit, the small moments of grace that assure us that better things are just around the corner.

Spring, more than any other season, shows us that hope can be found in even the tiniest of details, including the delicate shape of a new leaf as it reaches towards the sun!

My parents’ energetic kitty, Prissy, loves to help my mother in the yard. One afternoon, after a day of “helping,” I noticed Prissy’s pollen-covered toes as she rested on the deck.

This amazing snapping turtle arrived one afternoon to lay her eggs. Slow and cumbersome on land, she finished her task, then, graceful as a ballerina, slid back into the lake.

Baby bluebirds bring such joy — especially when they become impatient waiting for their parents to return with more food.

A sweet tree frog naps during the heat of the day in the heart-shaped leaf of a moon vine plant. I love the delicate lines of the lily of the valley. Sadly, they don’t last very long before one of my cats sits on them and crushes the petals.

This sassy hornet arrived with a group of honeybees to enjoy the camellia blossoms.

“Lo, the winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come!” —Song of Songs 2:11-12

We spent one afternoon rescuing two abandoned baby squirrels by luring them out of the trees with slices of apple. Both squirrels began to happily purr as they took the slices into their tiny hands. We found a wonderful local rehabber through Wildlife Welfare that welcomed the babies with warm fleece blankets and lots of formula.

The redbud is the first flowering tree to bloom in my yard. Its delicate, rosy-pink blossoms announce the arrival of spring.

Every year we are treated to the unexpected sighting of the newest baby deer to join the herd. This one stopped by for a quick afternoon snack.

In my yard, the earliest colors of spring, including an old-fashioned yellow bell (forsythia) bush and redbud trees, mingle with the early spring grass.

God provides inspiration every morning in the colors of the sunrise.

My sister and her husband are master cooks; whatever they make is both beautiful and delicious! This is their homemade cornbread, served with a slice of sunshine.

Time for the annual power washing of the house!

Growing up, my grandmother had a beautiful garden full of spring flowers including buttercups and hyacinths. For my family, buttercups signify the arrival of spring, so it only seems appropriate to keep them on the table with my grandparents’ photographs.

Alexander, my favorite feline solar collector, takes full advantage of spring’s longer days.

I love seeing the fishermen on the lake, no matter the season. They are so peaceful and quiet while they wait patiently; it feels almost like a spiritual moment. Sometimes they are alone, sometimes with family, sometimes it’s simply a man and his dog enjoying the serenity.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” — W.B. Yeats