WPC: Awakening

~

“The world is exploding in emerald, sage,
and lusty chartreuse – neon green with so much yellow in it.
It is an explosive green that,
if one could watch it moment by moment throughout the day,
would grow in every dimension.”
.
Amy Seidl

~

~

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.”
.
Cynthia Occelli

~

~

Meaning is only found
when you go beyond meaning.
Life only makes sense
when you perceive it as mystery
and it makes no sense
to the conceptualizing mind.”
.
Anthony de Mello

~

~

“Waking up from a deep sleep,
I always seem to be discovering life
for the first time.”
  .
Marty Rubin

~

~

“A single event
can awaken within us
a stranger totally unknown to us.
To live is to be slowly born.”
.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018
*
For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Awakening

~

~

“My speaking is meant to shake you awake,
not to tell you how to dream better.”
.
Adyashanti

~

Advertisements

Sunday Dinner: Grateful

~
“I am grateful for what I am and have.
My thanksgiving is perpetual.
It is surprising how contented one can be
with nothing definite –
only a sense of existence.
… I am ready to try this 
for the next ten thousand years,
and exhaust it …
 My breath is sweet to me.
O how I laugh when I think
of my vague indefinite riches.
No run on my bank can drain it,
for my wealth is not possession
but enjoyment.”
.
Henry David Thoreau
~
~
“Be thankful for your allotment in an imperfect world.  
Though better circumstances can be imagined,
far worse are nearer misses
than you probably care to realize.”
.
Richelle E. Goodrich
~
~
“You have to be able to slow down enough
to switch your focus away from
all the ways things could be better,
to know how good they already are.”
.
Katherine Ellison
~
~
“One single gift acknowledged in gratefulness
has the power to dissolve the ties of our alienation.”

.
David Steindl-Rast
~
~
“It’s a funny thing about life,
once you begin to take note
of the things you are grateful for,
you begin to lose sight
of the things that you lack.”
.
Germany Kent
~
~
“Behind every creative act is a statement of love.
Every artistic creation is a statement of gratitude.”
.
Kilroy J. Oldster
~
~
“The single greatest cause of happiness is gratitude.”
.
Auliq-Ice
~
~
Photos By Woodland Gnome 2017
~
~
“Don’t ever stop believing in your own transformation.
It is still happening
even on days you may not realize it
or feel like it.”
.
Lalah Delia

Blossom XXII: “…and Spring After Winter.”

Redbud

~

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength

that will endure as long as life lasts.

There is something infinitely healing

in the repeated refrains of nature –

– the assurance that dawn comes after night,

and spring after winter.”

.

Rachel Carson

~

~

“Live in each season as it passes;

breathe the air, drink the drink,

taste the fruit,

and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

.

Henry David Thoreau

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“I only went out for a walk

and finally concluded to stay out

till sundown,

for going out, I found, was really going in.”

.

John Muir

~

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XIX
Blossom XX
Blossom XXI

Our Native Redbud Tree

April 12, 2015 flowers 077

~

A redbud tree in full bloom grabs my attention like no other spring blooming tree.  They just light up suddenly, like a neon beacon in the edge of the tree line; transforming from non-descript to gorgeous in the space of a day.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 089

~

This North American native, Cercis canadensis, grows wild in our woods.  Although there are a few cultivars available, including a white variety, the species pleases me just fine.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 078~

And unlike many of the spring blooming fruit trees which show visible buds for weeks, waiting for the winter to pass; the blossoms of a redbud tree simply break directly out of the bark, anywhere and everywhere.  It is an amazing sight to see in early spring.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 093

~

Never particularly large, these trees survive to an advanced age.  And as they age, they keep growing and blooming year to year despite all manner of scars, injuries, and chaotic growth.  They have that courageous spirit of perseverance which expresses the heart and soul of springtime’s beauty.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 083~

The redbud remains a quintessentially American tree.  They grow from The Hudson Bay south to the Gulf coast in eastern North America.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 081

~

I’ve grown up loving them every spring of my life, save one when I was in Europe in April and missed them.  They bloom soon after the Forsythia each year, but several days before the Dogwood’s buds open.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 085

~

Their flowers appear days before their leaves.  They bloom when the forest remains mostly bare, with just a hint of green haze as the leaves of larger trees break bud.  Their flowers feed bees and other nectar loving insects in early spring when there are few flowers in bloom.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 014

~

Mature redbud trees may grow wider than they grow tall.  Never growing more than 20 to 30 feet, redbud remains an understory tree, growing in the partial shade of the forest’s edge and around homes.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 076

~

After their flowers fade, beautiful heart shaped leaves appear, followed by seed pods which look like Asian pea pods. The leaves turn gold in autumn before they fall.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 095

~

The redbud is a member of the pea, or Fabaceae family.  The flowers and seedpods are edible, and parts of the redbud tree were used by our Native Americans for food.  I’ve heard that their seedpods are good in salad, but can’t say I’ve tried them myself…

Every flower, once pollinated, forms a seed pod.  You can imagine that in a few months time the pods hang thickly from the branches.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 097

~

And every pod contains several seeds, tasty to wildlife.  So many seeds form, that many survive to germinate.  The trees grow very quickly.  They shoot up in just a few years to get their branches high enough to catch the sunlight through the surrounding growth.  Slowly, they begin to fill out their rounded canopies as the years go by.

Redbud trees also help improve the soil and nourish other plants.  As legumes, members of the pea family, they can fix nitrogen, taken from the air, in the soil around their roots.  Their fallen leaves and seed pods also feed the soil as they decompose each winter.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 123

~

We were happy to find several redbud trees in our garden here.  We have one very large old one in the back near the ravine, and several much younger ones along the street.  We spot a new one in bloom every year or so, and I’ve planted at least two over the past few years.  One was a seedling sprouted in the wrong place, which I moved.  The other was a gift, which I grew on in a pot for a few years, before putting it into the ground earlier this spring.  Now it has just come into bloom for the first time.

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 016

~

Mid- April, when the redbuds are in full bloom, the Dogwoods are opening, and the Azalea buds have begun to swell, is one of my favorite times of the year.  The bare woody bones of winter burst into vivid flowers and cover themselves with tender green leaves.  What astounding beauty manifests all around us each April.

~

April 9, 2015 planting 015

~

Woodland Gnome 2015

~

April 12, 2015 flowers 090

Eastern Redbud Tree

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 016

In our region, springtime means rapid change in the landscape, at times, hour by hour.  Once our days, and nights, begin to warm, everything in the  garden visibly responds.

March 31 birds 021

The lawn grows shaggy and green, often brushed with the hues of magically appearing wild flowers.  (Note I call them flowers.  There are those who call them “weeds” and spray noxious chemicals to eradicate them.)

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 034

Besides the greening lawns and most welcome beds of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, the most stunning transformation in springtime is our trees.

At first a hazy blur in the canopies as their buds begin to swell, suddenly the trees pop into color one by one.  Some soft green, others white or pink.  And on one magical day,  in early spring, the  Redbud trees burst into color.

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 002

The native Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis, is one of the amazing trees the early European colonists discovered growing in the forests along the East Coast of North America, and sent home to gardeners back in England.

The native variety blooms in deep pink; almost magenta.  When the buds begin to show, it is curious to find them not only on the tips of twigs, as one expects to find apple or cherry blossoms, but also growing directly out of the trunk and larger brancehs!  The wood stems are just all of a sudden covered in these gorgeous pink buds.

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 015

Native in the North Eastern Unite d States, and north into Canada, Cercis Canadensis lives in Zones 4-8.

Since it prefers moist soils, it doesn’t grow well west of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, unless it is irrigated during dry spells.

Growing in sun to partial shade, this small tree is most often found as an understory plant along the edges of forested areas, and now in  suburban yards.  Redbud grows to around 30′ at maturity, with a spread of perhaps 25′.

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 036

The tree was considered a delicacy by the Native Americans.  They ate the flowers either raw or boiled.    Seeds, from the long pods which come along in summer, were roasted and enjoyed.

The tender green tips of new branches are still cooked with Venison and other wild meats today, in parts of Appalachia, as a seasoning.  One of the common names for this tree is, the “Spicewood Tree.”

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 003

The Redbud tree has been hybridized in recent years to create many ornamental versions for the nursery trade.  Although the native form has beautiful heart shaped leaves of medium green, newer hybirds offer various leaf colors from plum to orange.

Hybrids offer various colors of spring flowers from white varieties, through every shade of pink and several shades of purple.

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 032

An important early food source for bees, the Redbud also feeds squirrels and birds when its seeds ripen.  Its leaves are an important food source for various caterpillars.

Redbud trees readily naturalize from their abundant seed production.  Where there is one, there will often be many where the seedlings are allowed to grow undisturbed.

They have few pests or disease problems.  Because they grow relatively slowly, and remain small, they are a welcome addition to the garden.  They offer springtime color, summer shade, an easily managed growth habit, and benefits for wildlife.

April 5, 2014 flowering trees 033

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 654 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest