This week is a time of frustration and excitement for flowerbloggers, in equal part. The weather is opening up; it’s clearly no longer January . . . and the world seems suspended, swollen and aching to bloom. In town, the plums are throwing snowy mantles around their shoulders, the first enormous magnolia blossoms are breaking open, but narcissus are already admitting that the season is passing.
Here’s a poem by AE Housman, from A Shropshire Lad, that becomes more precious to me year by year:
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It leaves me only fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs is little room,
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
2-11-10 Osoberry on a cutbank along Olema Road in Fairfax. Every year it's a hold-your-breath delight to find that this uncommon native has survived right on the edge of a well-traveled street.
2-11-10 The first Blue Dicks of the year, early on the slopes of Baywood Canyon. Native Americans harvested the bulb of this familiar beauty in a way that consciously increased its abundance year by year.
2-13-10 The solitary jelly-red female flowers of Hazelnut side by side with pendant male catkins on Pam's Blue Ridge
2-12-10 A Tree Poppy bloom sheltering itself from rain on the Southern Marin Line Road
2-13-10 Not a flower, but a deer-coppiced Bay Laurel on Pam's Blue Ridge, looking like a Druid momument
2-12-10 Silkytassel on Knob Hill above Kentfield
2-12-10 A surprise! The first very early Huckleberries have burst into bloom along the Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail, bush after bush of them
2-11-10 California Saxifrage beside the Narrow Gauge Trail above Fairfax
2-12-10 A second look at a Slinky Pod blossom and its leopard-spotted leaf on the Hoo-Koo-E-Koo
2-12-10 Rain-jeweled Tree Lupine, Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail
2-11-10 Every spring we bring a Buckeye branch indoors to unfurl in the middle of our kitchen table
2-11-10 Our oldest daughter Sarah Orantes with Tina and a grandmotherly live oak on the Narrow Gauge Trail