A Flowering Trees Story

Nobody is ever going to mistake me for a botanist, that’s for damn sure. By which I mean that I don’t know shit, basically, when it comes to plants. Yeah, I can identify a few trees and flowers. And I might exclaim “hey, there’s a fern!” when I see one. Beyond that, however, please don’t press me.

Nonetheless, I enjoy spending time outdoors among flora. Who doesn’t? We all want our minds to be expanded, if not blown, you see, even if we know it only subconsciously. And what better way to allow this to happen than to initiate close contact with Nature’s fibrous wonders, absorbing their good vibes?

With that in mind, on the morning of April 27th I eased my aged ass from the living room sofa, hopped, more or less, into my car, and drove to a pretty neighborhood in a nearby town. Specific sorts of flora — flowering trees — not only were on my mind, they were the reason for my mini-expedition.

I’m not sure why, but I didn’t pay much attention to flowering trees until fairly recent years. A big oversight on my part. Since then, though, I’ve made it a point to check them out in April and May, which is when they do their unfurling thing in my part of the globe (I live in Pennsylvania, USA). Their blossomy performance is, of course, a winner. What’s not to like about shades of, primarily, pink, purple and white? Those hues sure liven up the green-dominated landscape around here this time of year.

What’s more, knowing that the performance doesn’t last forever imbues it with poignancy. Poof! — before you know it the petals are gone. Until a new production is staged the following year.

Well, I wandered through the neighborhood for an hour, gazing at the flowers on magnolia, cherry, dogwood and other trees. They looked good. After 30 minutes, though, I found myself disappointed by the relatively modest numbers of those trees. At least half of the properties I passed that day contained none at all, in fact. Man, how cool would it have been if I’d seen 10 or 20 times as many? Very. The blossom experience then would have overwhelmed and enveloped, like an ecstatic fireworks display.

And so, with intensification as my goal, over the next half hour I got much nearer to the flowers than I had previously during the walk, within inches in most instances and nose-to-nose twice. The strategy worked. From those vantages the blossoms made a hell of an impression, intricately designed and decidedly gorgeous as they were. And they instantly became my friends, wanting only to please. “Hello, Neil,” they whispered, “thanks for visiting. We’re at your service.”

“You’re the best,” I whispered back.

“But don’t linger, old timer,” they added. “You won’t be a happy sightseer if someone storms out of their house, yelling at you to get the f*ck off their property.”

True! Thus, I kept my up-close-and-personal sessions short. Thank you, blossoms, for having my back.

Sitting at my computer keyboard now, a number of days after the events described above, I’m wondering what came over me halfway through the stroll, as I’d never felt let down before by any aspect of springtime. Maybe the rotten state of affairs in the world — Russia rearing its ugly head; the growth of fascism in many nations, including my own — was wearing on me, putting me in need of big jolts of beauty. In any event, I’m back to my normal self. Grumpy, as usual, but appreciative too.

Let’s close the proceedings with a tune that, title-wise, is a perfect match for this essay. I discovered it a couple of days after my close encounters with flowering trees. Ordinarily I’m not a big fan of bouncy songs. But the more I listen to Cherry Blossom, by pop and country star Kacey Musgraves, the more I like it. Beneath the sugar and gloss it has a strong layer of soul. Likening herself to a cherry blossom, Kacey hopes and prays that her relationship with her new boyfriend, whom she’s mad about, will hold, that the wind won’t blow her away. I’m pulling for her.

142 thoughts on “A Flowering Trees Story

  1. gabychops May 10, 2022 / 1:00 am

    Thank you, Neil, for the beautiful pictures and reminding that nature is a savior!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 3:50 pm

      Evening, Joanna. We need big doses of Nature’s beauty. Especially when the world is in turmoil, as it is right now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 3:52 pm

      Hi. Blossoms are so delicate. They are beautiful, but aren’t made to last for too long.

      Like

  2. Paddy Tobin May 10, 2022 / 2:08 am

    Interacting with plants is a wonderful experience; growing and caring for them a fabulous pastime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 3:55 pm

      Hi, Paddy. Last week my wife and I went for a walk in a huge park in Philadelphia. There are zillions of trees there. It felt good to be around them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin May 10, 2022 / 5:06 pm

        Do you have a garden? (Yard?)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 5:21 pm

          Yes. I mow, prune and pull out weeds, hoping to keep things looking halfway decent. But I’ve never been a planter or a cultivator.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Paddy Tobin May 11, 2022 / 4:07 am

            I had an email last evening and immediately you came to mind and I had a great laugh. Genuinely, and truly, my editor contacted me to apologise that she had neglected to contact me at the proper time and that the deadline for my article for a gardening magazine was beyond its deadline and could I possibly have something to her within 24 hours! No bother at all, says I and it has been delivered with photographs!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. joylennick May 10, 2022 / 4:01 am

    “How beautiful is flowering Spring after Winter’s cold department…” Thank you, Neil Quite delightful. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. swabby429 May 10, 2022 / 6:16 am

    We all need to be replenished by nature’s beauty and wonder. Today’s crazy state of civilization is reason enough to take a refreshing break.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ellie894 May 10, 2022 / 6:45 am

    You’re so right, Neil. Trees in full bloom are stunning! We can never have too many of them or linger over them long enough. I’m glad those blossoms called you for a closer look and the song (new to me) is beautiful! Thanks, suzanne ☺️🌸

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 3:58 pm

      You’re a nature lover, so I’m sure you’ve spent plenty of time among flowering trees. Like you say, they are stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Antion May 10, 2022 / 6:55 am

    We have a fair number in our neighborhood, and a couple in our yard, but we could use more.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. rivertoprambles May 10, 2022 / 7:40 am

    Ah, those blossoming wonders of the season! May they do their task in undermining “the rotten affairs of the world,” a tough job, to say the least, but they’re willing and, for now, quite capable. Thanks for this reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 4:01 pm

      Hi. My area had tons of rain and heavy winds recently. But today is sunny, and the flowering trees seem to have held on to their petals. I saw some beauties today.

      Like

  8. JOYCE HAMILTON May 10, 2022 / 7:54 am

    Always like your photos and good song

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Helen Devries May 10, 2022 / 9:19 am

    Nature refreshes us…when we open our eyes. And do we need refreshment at the moment while politicians play with peoples’ lives.
    People dislike our capital, but I like it for many reasons, one being the tree lined streets, while the local council gives out trees for people to plant in their gardens.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 4:03 pm

      Hi, Helen. Your local council has the right idea. Trees are vital to the ecosystem, as we all know. And they look good, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jacqui Murray May 10, 2022 / 9:57 am

    Those are beautiful! I was worried about the residents seeing the stranger taking pictures of their house. That would catch my attention!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. talebender May 10, 2022 / 9:59 am

    Laughed out loud at, “Hey, there’s a fern!” I’m a guy who identifies flowers as “blue-petalled green-stem” or “spotted-leaf redbloom”, so your experience resonated. Loved the pictures, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Paula B May 10, 2022 / 10:03 am

    You’re definitely not alone in your feeling “let down.” I, typically an optimistic, am starting to awaken every morning wondering what dreadful things will occur in the world that day. But your posts always help alleviate that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 4:07 pm

      I don’t know if the news ever has been mostly good. But ever since Trump emerged in 2016, it seems to have gotten a lot worse. And Putin, of course, is the pits.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. eden baylee May 10, 2022 / 10:20 am

    We have a park in the city called High Park and it has an actual Sakura watch. They are gorgeous trees and a glorious sign of beauty and spring.
    Nice pics of the trees on your walk! They look huge!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 4:08 pm

      Hi, Eden. Some of the flowering trees that I saw that day are quite large. But there were a bunch of spindly ones too.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sam Gridley May 10, 2022 / 11:13 am

    One of those trees is Cercis canadensis. Which is the sum of MY botanical knowledge, and also my Latin.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Crystal Byers May 22, 2022 / 12:52 pm

        The Redbud is the Oklahoma state tree. That’s pretty much the extent of my tree knowledge. Like you, I admire the blooms.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger May 22, 2022 / 3:46 pm

          The Redbud’s flowers are cool. I guess I’ve see Redbuds for decades, but I didn’t learn their name till a year or two ago.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. alison41 May 10, 2022 / 12:47 pm

    I so enjoyed your photos – how beautiful; thanks for sharing them with your readers

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Cristina Crawford May 10, 2022 / 2:10 pm

    Beautiful! How I miss the beauty of flowering trees! Here in my Florida locale there is a plethora of palm tree varieties but not flowering trees. We’ve got Magnolias but alas white isn’t my favorite flower color. How I miss the many flowering trees and the profusion of Cherry Blossoms too while living in the Washington D.C. metro area. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 4:34 pm

      Hey there, Cristina. Right, the Washington DC area is a hub for cherry blossoms. Which reminds me that I haven’t been to DC in a long time. I should visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cristina Crawford May 10, 2022 / 4:40 pm

        Yes you should! I was in DC visiting family some weeks ago. The botanical gardens had just reopened after being closed for nearly two years due to COVID…it was a lovely visit! I should be writing but I seem to have fallen off the cliff😬

        Liked by 1 person

  17. JT Twissel May 10, 2022 / 2:24 pm

    I love to get lost in nature – it’s the only way to cope with this crazy world. Our trees blossomed a few weeks back. It was beautiful but the pollen – oh la la – did I go through the kleenex!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. sniderjerry May 10, 2022 / 2:44 pm

    Hi Neil, As John Lennon said, “Love is the flower you’ve got to grow.” Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 2 people

  19. The Coastal Crone May 10, 2022 / 4:38 pm

    With the state of the world in chaos, nature is there for us. More people should get out and refresh. See, it made a grump appreciative and perhaps a little romantic. Lovely photos!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 10, 2022 / 5:18 pm

      Hi. Despite mankind’s efforts to ruin things, there’s still a whole lot of natural beauty on our planet.

      Like

  20. tobyo May 11, 2022 / 12:05 am

    Such lovely photos! and I couldn’t agree more about the state of the world. It’s nice to take a break from it for sure. Our trees should get flowering here pretty soon since spring only just arrived last week. Very late this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. selizabryangmailcom May 11, 2022 / 1:03 am

    I can barely think of anything that’s better than flowering trees. Who wouldn’t like being surrounded by flowers? It’s like being transported by magic to Fairy Land. Thanks for the great photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Alyson May 11, 2022 / 2:36 am

    Trees in Spring and Autumn are spectacular and we have a fine show around here just now, very similar to the ones you took pictures of. It’s a messed up world but Mother Nature always has some new delight just up her sleeve.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 7:33 am

      It’s hard to choose between the flowers on some trees in spring, and the changing leaves of autumn. I think I’d pick autumn, but both events are great.

      Like

  23. mjcd2017 May 11, 2022 / 3:50 am

    Beautiful pics, thoughtful post! Spring and fall are my favourite seasons … when everything starts to bloom, one starts puttering around in the garden or in my case on the balcony again (the radishes are already starting to sprout, lettuce is following) and one enjoys the sunny days. Despite the horrible current situation in the Ukraine, the economic backlash … those little spring pleasures are small treasures in everyday life. Fall, the vibrant colours of the changing trees, the last blooms, sunny and warm days without the summer heat … always a pleasure too. Take care and keep exploring!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 7:37 am

      Many thanks for adding your thoughts. I agree with you about spring and autumn. They are my favorite seasons too. Between those two, I give the nod to autumn, partly because that’s when my birthday rolls around.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. johnlmalone May 11, 2022 / 6:58 am

    once again, Neil, your humor and empathy come through. I loved your little talk with the flowers after you got up close and personal 🙂 great photos too — and being out amongst nature is very calm and inspirational 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 8:48 am

      Hi. I need some doses of Nature today. In a bit I’m going to go outside and admire some flowering trees in my neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnlmalone May 11, 2022 / 4:49 pm

        that will keep your spirits buoyant, Neil — and don’t forget those pics 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  25. shoreacres May 11, 2022 / 7:38 am

    “Grumpy but appreciative” is such a wonderful phrase, and your description of your encounter with the trees is splendid. Many of those you found, like the cherries, don’t grow down here, so I especially enjoyed your photos, and your description of your day among them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 8:53 am

      Hi. Many of the flowering trees around here are still loaded with blossoms. Pretty soon the petals will fall off. I’ll miss them.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. andrewcferguson May 11, 2022 / 8:37 am

    ‘Older man seen acting suspiciously by stopping to admire flowers’: I can just see the headline! Keep on digging that plant life, Neil. And Kacey Musgraves is a good choice – she’s a real talent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 10:54 am

      Speaking of plants: This morning I attempted to keep Nature under control, by mowing my lawn and pruning a large, overgrown bush.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Ally Bean May 11, 2022 / 3:56 pm

    Beautiful colors in your photos. I feel like you captured the joy of spring, both with your pics and the music. “Timing is everything…” so sayeth Kacey.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. viewfromoverthehill May 11, 2022 / 7:59 pm

    Lovely — here in Vancouver we also have many flowering trees. Apparently about 70 years ago, a lady on city council talked the city fathers to plant hundreds of Japanese trees, which provide carpets of pink blossoms for me to walk on every spring after they bloom and fall. They are still beautiful. All the best, Muriel

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 11, 2022 / 11:02 pm

      My wife and I were in your city for a few days in the late 1990s. It’s a fine place. We went to a jazz show at a theater. I think the theater’s name began with a V. The Vogue? Anyway, enjoy the blossoms!

      Like

  29. alhenry May 12, 2022 / 10:55 am

    One of my new favorite flowering trees is the weeping cherry. I’ve encountered quite a few in my hood this year, which must have been there before but perhaps were draped in the invisibility cloaks of Harry Potter fame. In London now, where vast expanses of green parks and lush squares are in full bloom, and enormous trees line many a thoroughfare. Impossible not to be deeply joyful.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Steve Higgins May 13, 2022 / 8:12 am

    I’ve always liked trees. There’s a big one next to our house with big fern like leaves and branches which were growing into the roof so sadly I’ve had to have it seriously trimmed. The birds weren’t happy but the flip side is we’ve got some good logs for the fire.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. snakesinthegrass2014 May 13, 2022 / 12:09 pm

    It is amazing what we start to notice when we have the actual time and interest, isn’t it? Very pretty pictures. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Michele Anderson May 13, 2022 / 4:18 pm

    I always feel better about life when I see the spring flowering trees. I have three flowering trees and they make me so happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Dave May 13, 2022 / 5:00 pm

    Strong finish, Neil. I’ll listen to anything Kacey Musgraves sings (and I hadn’t heard “Cherry Blossom” before). She’s a bit of an odd duck with her bizarre outfits and drug use and foul mouth, but she can sure turn on the innocent and pure with songs like this. Not gonna say I’m a flowering tree fan now, but as always, and entertaining post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 13, 2022 / 8:03 pm

      Hey, Dave. I’m not too familar with Kacey overall, but I’m making a note to myself to listen to one or two of her albums. I’m pretty sure, by the way, that Cherry Blossom is from her most recent album.

      Like

  34. Joe May 14, 2022 / 11:07 pm

    Fetching essay, Neil. I remember the spring blooms in Philadelphia USA. The dogwoods are my personal favorite. Catchy tune too. See ya!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. The Artist's Child May 15, 2022 / 8:46 am

    Fabulous blossoms. I hope that they also had beautiful perfume. Brings back memories of the Flowering Cherry tree we had in our garden when I was a child. We will have to wait until August to see blossom around here again, but Spring seems to come early in Melbourne these days. Lovely song and very visual. I can picture the singer in Tokyo surrounded by Cherry trees in full blossom with petals falling all around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 15, 2022 / 11:52 am

      Hi. You’re right about the Cherry Blossom song being visual. And the instrumentation gives it a Japanese feel musically, too. I’m glad to hear from you. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. ckennedy May 15, 2022 / 2:15 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I’m not good at identifying plants/trees/flowers, either. Like you, I can call out a fern–which makes me happy. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. rkrontheroad May 16, 2022 / 11:01 am

    A lovely post. Glad you went out in search of beauty. Flowering trees are rare here in the high altitude country. I have to go down to Denver to visit spring blooming this time of year. When I lived in Guatemala, the trees were colorful, fragrant, and plentiful all year. I do miss that!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. kegarland May 16, 2022 / 12:49 pm

    Think we’re on a similar mission…I have some tree photos coming up soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Linda Pearce Griffin May 16, 2022 / 3:23 pm

    I love it when trees get dressed for Spring – especially those show offs: dogwoods, crabapples, redbuds, and cherry. Of course, magnolia stays spiffed up all year in her glossy green garb but oh, my! are they sharing their fragrant blossoms in my front yard right now and I’m in heaven! Thanks for your delightful post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 16, 2022 / 4:54 pm

      Magnolias are great. I’m not sure if they are native to my area (greater Philadelphia), but there sure are plenty of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Pam Lazos May 16, 2022 / 5:25 pm

    Dogwood, Redbud, Cherry, not totally sure what the white one is cause I can’t properly tell from the picture, but I think it might be an Oak Hydrangea, and the last one looks like another Dogwood from the flowers in the bottom of the photo, but it could also be two separate trees cause I can’t make out all the blast of color, but if it’s more bush-like, could be an Azalea. Nice walk!

    Liked by 2 people

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