Our chilly March weather and the sudden explosion of warmth a week ago, when the temperature hit 91˚ at National Airport, have created a compression of spring flowers. Daffodils came out early and lingered in the cool air for weeks. Cherry blossoms were delayed, then burst out all at once about April 7th and 8th, then got swept away within a week by winds and rain, so that they were all gone by the Cherry Blossom Parade on the 13th. While the Cherries were still out the Dogwood and Redbud started. The Redbud is now fully out, the Dogwood (which takes a while) is making good progress, and our Camellia bush is adorned with the first few of what promise to be a plethora of gorgeous flowers. One of the Azaleas by the front porch is even beginning to get into the act already. So while the early blooms got pushed back, the later ones were encouraged to come early: convergence!
It’s also Magic Week. That’s what I call the gorgeous ten days or so when the deciduous trees leaf out. They come so close after one another that right now they are all in some stage of leafing. And for this magic tenuous ethereal span of days they are all different colors of green, rust, and brown. All too soon they will be undistinguishable, a uniform shade of “full summer green.” But right now their delicate, graceful hues form a subtly variegated landscape. The skyline depicted below is visible from my yard. Two weeks hence it will be barely recognizable. The mutations of the spring season are as rare and evanescent as moments of human childhood: eternal in their value; fleeting in their existence.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2013.