Sunday, February 14, 2010

Earth Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!

Rather than visiting the mall to pick out cards or buy flowers flown in from distant lands, it's a lot more fun to walk around the neighborhood to see what's in bloom. On almost every block are exuberant displays of lacy pink or white creations.

These are the same streets we were walking just a month ago, in the dark, admiring the Christmas lights that most people still had up. Gradually, one by one, the houses went dark. Now they are decorated again with a whole different theme -- just like the stores, although Mother Nature's marketing promotions are far more enticing.

Above, I believe, is a flowering quince bush.

My rule of thumb used to be that the trees with pink blossoms are flowering cherry and the white ones are plum.

This one, right across the street from us, has white blossoms, and our neighbor assures me it is a flowering cherry. So, it must be admitted that I really have no idea what all these graceful trees might be. But who cares on a beautiful spring day?

About a 15 minute walk from our house is another white-blossomed tree, venerable with age and surrounded by Indian paintbrush, in the yard of an abandoned old farmhouse house on the edge of town.

In our own backyard, I know how to identify the plum trees because we've eaten the fruit for many a summer. So far, there are only two or three white blossoms showing, with lots more to come.

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