Posts Tagged ‘magnolia blossoms’

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind – Emily Dickinson


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DSCN4483Armed with a rake and a shovel, I could hear the lilt of a Baltimore oriole. They always seem to nest in the same tree, high atop the canopy of the Cutoff, usually somewhere just south of heaven atop the stately old sycamore. When I’m lucky, I can see his bright orange chest against the bald, white bark of the tree. Not this day, however, as his voice came floating down to me in the early morning crisp. I scratched the beds, unveiling the newly emerged shoots of ferns and the leaves of poppies, the tips of hostas and the wide green leaves allium, their buds just starting to swell.

We did not get the leaves raked out of the flower bids before the first snow of winter. I fretted, as gardeners are wont to do, but, it seems it may have been the best of things, after all. Although I am in a frenzy to rake it all out now. With two acres and a considerable number of large trees, there is much to do this year. As I continue uncover bits  of our plots, I find that there has not been all that much damage to the plants. I do believe that the carpet of leaves, several inches in depth, followed by three feet of snow, provided an insulated blanket for the perennials.

So, dear reader, it was a busy weekend. Our community garden was officially opened, seasonal plant stands were in the full flush of blooms and buyers, and the first of the outdoor art shows popped up under tents in an historic park, under the magnolia blooms.

I hope your weekend was as full of wonder and appreciation for nature as mine was, whether in the throes of spring in the northern hemisphere, or in the slowing down season of fall in the southern.


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Last week brought record-breaking 80 ° temperatures. This morning saw the mercury dip to the 30’s. The heat of last week, which prompted early blossoms, then the wind and rain which shook those blossoms down into pools of petals at the feet of trees, made quick work of magnolias and cherry blossoms.

So it goes . . .

. . . and why I stopped on Saturday afternoon to take this photo.

I’m not sure what this tree is, a magnolia perhaps. Its flowers are a perfectly hued buttermilk color that matches the shutters of this elegant painted lady in La Grange.  We first noticed it last May, when it was in its proper bloom. This year is different as everything seems to be bursting into flower out of sync, including this gracious tree.

I wondered how the homeowners managed to match the colors so well. Click on the picture for a clearer look.

This is my part of the world. I live in a suburb of Chicago that is far enough away to afford us two little wooded acres with deer and fox, the occasional horseback rider, and forest preserve across the street. We are zoned rural, but we also live at the convergence of major expressways and from a high point on one of our main streets, a remnant of the old Route 66, we can see the skyline of Chicago.

I like to think it is the center of the universe.

Our town has plenty of places to shop and dine and we are but a few minutes from some of the best birding spots and miles of trails for hiking and biking, as well as lakes and sloughs and rivers. We are twenty minutes from one of North America’s Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

In spite of the fact that Illinois has a record number of governors who have served or are serving prison terms, I’m proud of living in what is called  the Land of Lincoln. The City of Big Shoulders stands at our backs here on the Cutoff, and the cities and towns, both big and small, and some of the best farmland on God’s green earth help to sustain us are at our feet in this place we call the Prairie State.

Won’t you tell us about where you live?

Urban legend has it that the Marx Brothers once lived in these parts. Their mother bought a chicken farm a few miles from where we live now. Farmers were exempt from the draft and Mrs. Marx hoped this would keep her boys from serving in WWI. Instead of collecting chicken eggs, the boys would slept late and spent their time at baseball games and betting on the ponies. A day at the races was more fun that chasing chickens around the farm.

So the legend goes.

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I need a little break from the game of tag, and thought you might be needing one as well. Instead, won’t you enjoy a few photos of our early spring here on the Cutoff, at the Morton Arboretum, and on our kitchen counter?

One of the “wild” visitors to our garden. Midnight the Cat.

Violets growing under Kezzie’s tree. A nice sight in March to remind me of my mother, whose name was Violet.

Buds getting ready to blossom on Kezzie’s tree, a crabapple.

The first of the Celandine poppies paid a surprise visit early yesterday morning.

A magnolia blossom near the Visitor’s Center of the Morton Arboretum.

The Daffodil Glade at the Morton Arboretum. Be sure to click on the pictures for a better look, especially the first photo, to appreciate how many daffodils there are blooming .   .   .

. . . and a few daffodils at my own kitchen sink.

Enjoy your day, wherever you are.

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