This is one of the times of year that I become hazardous on the road. I’ll pass the blame and say it’s not my driving skills, but rather the immense distraction of my favorite trees in spring – tulip trees. For most of the year our state trees look like normal, ordinary trees – they are beautiful – but they melt into the landscape and you don’t really notice. But for a few weeks in April each year, they are the only thing you can notice. They shine in their glorious crown of pink-white blossoms and quite frankly, there’s not another tree that can come close to their beauty. (The other trees know this and conveniently delay their budding until after the tulip tree has had its day. So in truth, the tulip trees have no competition because they are the first budding trees to flower here). Seasons emerge slowly in my neck of the woods, with distinct stages. I love this because you can savor every moment. At this point hellebores and daffodils are in bloom, a few shrubs have leafed out and our flowering, and the spotlight is on the tulip trees.
About 2 weeks ago the tulip trees looked like this:
As of last Thursday, they look like this:
At their peak, their limbs are filled to the brim with large cup-like flowers. Pink/mauve on the outside and creamy white on the inside, they are the most beautiful of flowers. They are well-cultivated trees and plentiful all over the city and countryside, so it is a great delight to drive around and admire them.
In fact, this weekend I made a special trip to visit a couple of fine specimens in a nearby city. Those trees had reached their peak and were already starting to lose their blooms. I had lunch with my mom outside at a tea-house to celebrate my birthday, and we got to watch the petals gently fall about us like scented rain.
It’s been a thrill to watch the tulip trees in their moment of glory. It’s over all too soon, but while it lasts, there’s nothing like it. And then you find yourself anxiously waiting till next year to see it all again.
Blessings to you,