Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Teasing Nature

For 14 years, we have lived in a wonderful old Craftsman home with beautiful old plantings gracing our yard and standing sentry for our home. Among the old oaks and magnolias and camellias is a stunted white tulip tree. It is small; it may be declining, I can't quite tell (all our old dogwoods have been declining and dying because of the mountain blight that has held them hostage for many years). Our tulip tree blooms at the same time her pink sisters do, in early spring. Early enough so that there is often a biting frost between the blossoms peeking out of their brown blankets and the blooms opening fully to the sun.

I took these photographs of some of the white blossoms on Friday, amazed at the beauty of the blooms (which I had never seen because of those freezing night frosts). The blossoms are delicate, and in the morning light, they looked as though they were poised to take flight.

Sadly, Mother Nature is a tease this time of year: while our days have been lovely, sunny, and fairly warm, our past 2 nights have been at or below freezing. This morning's frost was too much for the brave tulip, and all but a handful of her blossoms were burned brown by the temperature. It makes the fact that I saw the pure white beauty -- albeit briefly -- that much more special. Another lesson in transience.

I hope you see the beauty around you today!