This month’s Square Challenge is all about trees. Now trees are not the easiest of subjects to square up, so Becky is relying on us to show some imagination in how we present them. For the first week I am going to look at trees that have blossom.
“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.”
Waiting for the train to St Ives under this glorious cherry tree at the end of April. I am constantly amazed at how these trees hang on to their blooms as it is always windy by the coast.
(click to enlarge to full size)
“On these debatable borders of the year, spring’s foot half falters;
Scarce she yet may know the leafless blackthorn blossom from the snow”
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The delicate blossom of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) appear like a ghostly mist spreading across the still bare hedgerows.
“the hedge’s a bridal robe of white fragrance”
~ Thomas Hardy
A symbol of fertility the blackthorn branches were burned and its ashes spread over the fields of our ancestors to ensure a profitable harvest.
“And after April, when May follows,
And the white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent
spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!”
~ Robert Browning from Home-Thoughts, from Abroad
“Fifteenth of May. Cherry blossom. The swifts
Materialise at the top of a long scream
Of needle. ‘Look! They’re back! Look!’
And they’ve gone
On a steep controlled scream of skid”
~ Ted Hughes, from The Swifts
(first noticed the swifts returning to Ludlow on 8th May this year – lovely to see and hear them again, now I know summer is on her way)