Our fruit plants are going through their annual flowering cycle. At the beginning of May, our wild plum was in bloom. The middle of may brought the blossoms out in our apple and peach trees. Now our blackberry canes are blossoming. These are in our field, but the blackberry under our forest canopy are also out. Click on the image for a larger view.
At the end of April, I was so excited about the arrival of spring. The flora was returning and the weather was warm. A month later, the forest is a rich mass of green. Oddly enough, in winter, the forest is spacious and full of light, yet there is an absence of life. Now, it is dark and closed, but full of the vitality. Click on the image for a different view.
Our apple trees are in bloom. We have several varieties, but the blossoms are surprisingly similar—the foliage has greater variety. These particular blossoms are on a tree we call Midori-chan. Click on the image for a larger view.
The emergence of the spring foliage always takes me by surprise. Not only in how fast it happens—it seems like last week the trees were just beginning to bud—but also in the intensity of color. This evening’s sun seemed to make the forest glow in a burning green-yellow flame.
The other thing that caught my attention this evening was was the scent of new plants. While the air in winter is fresh and clean, it is rather sanitized. You seem to forget the world has a fragrance. And when I passed our lilac trees, the sweetness of the air was almost unreal. It is really nice to see spring taking hold. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our wild plum are now in bloom. The trees cluster around an old ash at the entrance of our driveway. Since the forest has not come into foliage, the light from the setting sun strikes them in the evening. The bloom are still white, but they will turn pink as the leaves come out. In August, we can harvest the fruit. Click on the image for a larger view.
Yesterday was April 26th (not March 26th, although it looked like it). It snowed all day. This is a bit disheartening. Naomi and I hope the cold has not harmed the budding plants. We are supposed to go below freezing for the next few nights. The daytime temperatures should be in the 50s, which will help. Click on the image for a larger view.
We have been having a stretch of warm weather, at least in the low 60°F. The warmth has felt really good, especially since the last two winters have been really long. And with this warm spell, we are seeing a return of life. One of the plants that has just returned to our forest floor is the red trillium or trillium erectum. Like the robin, it is a herald of spring, which gives it its common name—wake-robin. But it is a spring ephemeral, a short-lived plant, surviving long enough to complete its reproduction cycle. By the time the fern return, this plant will be gone. Two things about this herbaceous perennial: it is toxic and the bloom smells like rotting meat (flies are its primary pollinator). Click on the image for a larger view.
Poets don’t speak of this season, at least not in waxing lyrical verse. But, for me, the forest manifests a richness that is analogous to its power in the summer. Like ouroboros, the serpent that eats its own tail, the forest is its own progenitor. Click on the image for a larger view.
Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, usually don’t approach the house so close as they can detect our Newfoundland Hikari. This animal was visiting our bird feeders. For such a large bird, it is amazing how fast they can disappear into the forest. Their plumage is like an invisibility cloak, even with their blue and red heads Continue reading
What is this curious addiction to form humans have? We talk about beauty as if it is a quality of things out in the world. But beauty, as the expression goes, is in the eye of the beholder. That is actually a complex statement. You could take it to simply mean it is a personal opinion, but it is more complex than that: beauty only exists in the beholder. Seeing, or rather experiencing, beauty is an evolved human quality—we are built to create it. But, like most human qualities, we have different capacities to experience it. Eric Kandel in his book The Age of Insight states, “The beauty of an image may recruit not simply a positive emotion, but something more like love, an aesthetic addiction…” Beauty, it seems, lets us fall in love with the world. Click on the image for a larger view.
After a few weeks of warm weather, winter made itself felt last weekend. The temperatures fell to freezing and strong winds made it feel even colder. Even our forest was no shelter against the wind. But despite the brown landscape, we are encourage by the sprouting of our daylilies and daffodils. Click on the image for a larger view.
Click on the image for a larger view.