While the eastern half of the United States has been having a long, cold, snowy winter of it, here in the mountains of Northern California it seems almost unfair to be having dry, unnaturally mild weather and a very early spring. It is over 75 degrees outside at the moment! The sun is shining, and we’ve had a March that is more like April or even May. Though I’d rather be getting rain and snow like the rest of the country, I don’t believe in complaining about the weather. A drought does make for ample doll photography opportunities, as well as inviting early spring tea parties out of doors. My girls have been taking advantage of the mild spring to explore our yard and discover early spring flowers.
One of my new dolls that I am most excited about is Umeko Patience, an American Girl Just Like You #4 doll that I rescued from eBay and restored. The #4 doll has a unique face sculpt that American Girl never used for another doll-character. Unfortunately she has been retired for a couple years, and is difficult to find second hand… you might say it takes patience! Umeko Patience has become a very dear doll-friend, and because she is a very springy sort of person, it was most natural to take her outside to see the daffodils. She says yellow is her favorite color!
In the high desert, every flower is a treasure. I often find myself marveling over the miracle of a forsythia bush or a plum tree in blossom which people who live in a milder region might pass without remark. Patience loves the little forsythia we planted in our yard, and visited it when the flowers were first opening:
Have you ever looked at a small blossom up close? Patience has.
She checked back later in the week, too, when the flowers were more full:
Umeko is a Japanese name meaning “plum blossom child.” We don’t have a plum in our yard, but we do have a lovely little nanking cherry bush, which Patience was charmed by.
Julia, my Carpatina doll, was also delighted by the delicate perfection of the cherry blossoms.
They formed a natural background for a portrait of this lovely girl:
Julia has such a sweet, compassionate, thoughtful face that I love taking pictures of her. She brings a beautiful diversity to my doll family.
Another new doll who is incredibly photogenic is Verity, my A Girl For All Time Lydia doll.
Her delicate features, winter coloring, and earnest expression make her a natural in front of the camera. She, too, was delighted by the daffodils.
She loved the sweet fragrance.
And speaking of sweet fragrances, our tiny hyacinths were a magnet for Verity. She particularly loved the white hyacinth.
The pure white flowers captivated her, and she captivated me.
And just because she’s lovely, here’s a picture of Verity with the forsythia:
A couple weekends ago, Umeko Patience and Violette took a drive up north with us to a college town to see the spring flowers there. It turned out to be one of our rare rainy days, so I didn’t get as many photographs as I had planned, but here it is wise to never complain about the rain! Before the clouds had quite dropped down, Patience discovered this cluster of daffodils:
I simply can’t get over how sprightly and charming this adorable doll is!
But speaking of charming, Violette asked to climb a tree covered with catkins.
She also found her namesake in the botanical gardens.
By then it was really beginning to rain, so I had to put the dolls away.
Dolls and spring flowers are two things that make my heart smile with gratitude. How about you?