Friday, March 23, 2012

RED-BUDS - Harbingers of Spring

click on photos to enlarge
Shade and I drove into the wildlife management area at Buffalo Springs this morning and I was immediately impressed by the gorgeous pink and magenta colors that surrounded the area.  I had to stop the truck for a moment and just take it all in.
 Red-buds, to me, indicate that winter is over and spring is present.  That's how I see it anyway.  They are among the most beautiful visions indicative of the end of cold weather.  When the red-buds are out you can bet the woods are becoming alive with wild flowers.  This is one of my favorite times of the year.
Red-buds seem to "just appear."    Its a sudden occurrence.  I think that folks take the red-buds for granted down here in Tennessee because they are so common in the springtime.  They occur yearly and are as reliable as time itself.  Being from Pennsylvania - I am impressed every spring with their beauty and am constantly dazzled by their beauty.
The Eastern red-bud, Cercis Canadensis, grows from the Great lakes down through Alabama and into Florida.  It even resides as far west as Texas and Oklahoma.  An interesting thing about red-buds is that they seem to grow with other species of trees.  It sort of mixes in with them and often time intermingles with and among bushy, shrub type plants.  The blossom's colors range from pink or blue to magenta.  The blooms usually appear around the second week of March depending on the weather.
 The sky was overcast and I knew the colors would be vivid when photographed.  Its hard to believe but, I have not photographed any red-bud trees since moving to Tennessee.  

I took a short walk with Shade to enjoy the colors.  Things seem more joyous when surrounded with color.  We are scheduled for some heavy rain over the next two days and that will make the wild woods flowers pop out instantly.  My mind drifts to Calderwood Lake and the gorgeous spring shoreline colors.  I gotta get up there fast.

I had to run some paperwork over to the Region IV TWRA Office and it was time to get on the road.  "Shade - get in the truck."
I always hate leaving the forest and lakes to drive to town.  Sometimes its necessary but, I don't do it very often.
The lobby at the office in Morristown contains some stuffed animals that were hit by cars.  Shade has been here before but, today she took special notice to a stuffed fox and a coyote.
"Good to meet ya buddy.  What's your name?   Hey - I'm askin ya something here."
"So, what's your story?  How'd ya get this easy job?  Ya don't say much, do ya?
"Hey, Whitey - what's with Foxy over there?  What's wrong with you guys?  Can't ya all talk?"
"Come on Shade - lets go."

I looked across the yard when I got home and was pleased with what I saw.  Not being a domestic person - I overlooked the flowers and beauty in my own yard.  
Note the little white bouquets of button weed in front of the flowers and to the right side of them.

I don't know the names of all these flowers.  I simply enjoy them tremendously.
My attitude toward flower identification reminds me of my feelings toward states and countries. The lines that separate states and countries are imaginary - they exists on paper only.  Flowers are beautiful and I enjoy them as if they were fine paintings. They're Latin names have been assigned to them by ancient admirers.  New species are assigned Latin names also, for some reason.  Its nice to identify them and call them by name but, I am frustrated to no end with the current ilk of flower field guides and I have no patience to pour over them only to find that I "can't" find what I'm looking for.  So, the heck with it.  I admire them for what they are and that's good enough for me.

Confederate Violet - I think.
These flowers and red-buds make me feel good.  This is going to be a wonderful summer full of discovery and interesting adventures.  I love Tennessee.

I wish you could be here Douglas.  I really do.