Perhaps spring is here. Though the forecast for this coming Tuesday (the day this will be published) is for more snow.
My Redbuds, Cercis canadensis, here in the mountains of central Virginia are just now showing the slightest signs, of thoughts of blooms. This picture, above, was taken 5 days ago, while our newest, 8 inches of snow, were still festooning tree branches. Buds with just a hint of swelling.
In what will seem like, less time than the blink of an eye, my Redbuds will be sprouting their pinkish-purple blossoms. Sprouting blossoms that will be pollinated by long-tongued bees. Sprouting from buds along its zigzag branches, and sometimes even from the trunk of the tree itself.
The trunk, with its sprouting buds, is often twisted, looking as if it is participating in a yoga class.
To my eyes, which are even now, just awakening from a black and white, monotoned winter, the color will be dazzling! Along with tiny bits of apple green, there will be a flooding of the softest of magenta, in the just coming alive forest. It will appear to be a pink watercolor wash, over nearly everything.
At this point in the emergence of spring, on rare occasions, an event might happen if I am lucky. Pink Fog. The right temperatures, the right humidity and the sun doing its best to filter through all the Redbud blooms and PRESTO! Pink Fog! Beautiful!
For about one week, during this unfurling of spring, there will be an overlapping of blooms. Redbuds on the decline, and another native tree, the Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, just coming into bloom, contrasting their pink, and bright, snow white petals.
While the forests are having their pink and white dance, the Redbud flowers will be aging. Redbud leaves will be pushing their way out into the world. Leaves blushed with red that are perhaps the inspiration for the name Redbud. Leaves that have filled my photo collection, of Mother Nature’s hearts. Leaves that will provide food for caterpillars, of butterflies and moths of the forest, such as the striking Io Moth, Automeris io.
The seasons march on. The distinctive fruit of the Redbud will develop into flat, pea-like pods that contain 10 to 12 seeds.
As those seed pods develop, the Redbud leaves will be turning a brilliant yellow, preparing the trees for winter.
But back to the present and maybe spring. No Redbud blooms yet. Here’s to spring really happening. Here’s to at least one Pink Fog event!