Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
On Meadow-hills and mountains
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom.
Traditional Japanese Song
As promised, here is a tour of the University of Washington Quad, with its famous Yoshino cherry trees, which perfectly compliment the pink stone and brick Gothic architecture of the campus buildings.
The trees are nearly at the end of their life span, but are such beloved harbingers of spring that replacement trees are already being grown in a nursery in northern Washington.
When I was growing up, we spent several years living in a small coastal village in Japan. We loved participating in the many wonderful annual festivals there, and Hanami
, the Cherry Blossom Festival, was always a highlight. (I can even still sing all the words to that song in Japanese, but don’t worry, I won’t make you listen to a recording of that
My favorite image of the day is this one, taken by D:
How lovely that future generations will be able to experience this beauty and wonderment, when the new Yoshinos are installed. We are not as easily replaced as aging trees, and it is what we create each day that will determine our legacy for the future. Let’s make it as memorable and bright as a blue-skied, pink-blossomed day in spring.
Wishing you a magical weekend!
Prunus x yedoensis, Yoshino Cherry Tree
Saturday dawned glorious and clear, with temperatures predicted to be in the low 60s.
We avoided the beaches, but imagine they were swarming with silly Seattleites in summery attire. (Aww, I love a little alliteration.)
I arose before the brilliant sunrise, especially to make a new recording of our dawn chorus, to start your week off with a song!
The songbirds are really tuning up for the big concert! In a few weeks – you’ll see – the sound will be ten times this intensity. I love every single second of it, no matter how loud, and am fascinated by the changes as the season progresses. Already the garden is a flurry of songbird courting and nesting activity – robins and varied thrushes and chickadees and more. Our pair of doves has already returned to the top of the white birch, too.
And one cannot discount how these playful warblers lift the spirits. No matter my mood, the joyful music of our little fellows inspires an irrepressible grin. Often, D and I will be in nose down in the middle of a busy project when we’ll stop, go over to the window to listen to the birds, and burst out laughing.
Filled with such merriment on Saturday morning, with perfect weather assured for the day, we scampered out at 8:30 to the University of Washington campus. It’s early – many weeks too early, really – for the astounding cherry blossom display to be ready, but it is an event not to be missed and we had to be certain.
Oh, my! Although two or three days away from their peak, the trees were stunning! We have sooo many images, for the moment I’m sorry to just tease with these few close ups of blossoms. But expect a full tour later this week.
Imagine 30 towering, sixty-year-old, blooming cherry trees, backlit by the sun and lining either side of an expansive quadrangle of pink-bricked, Gothic-styled buildings! Clouds of pink petals and sparkling pink stone against the most brilliant blue sky!
Oh, and a pair of jaw-droppingly beautiful magnolias, too.
(I haven’t even gotten to processing the camellias we photographed last week – yikes – they want to be shown off, too!)
Thank you for all your well wishes and inquiries about our big project. I’ll announce the details when they are final but it involves getting a very large number of our photographs prepared for a new client. :)
I wish you each a really lovely week, filled with song and laughter.
Many dear friends in the Midwest and East Coast of the States, and in Europe, are lamenting their long and snowy winter, dreaming of spring’s warmth and color amid days rendered dull by clouds and fog, and longing for the sight of trees billowing with clouds of pink and white.
Did you know you can awaken a bit of spring to brighten up indoor days? Much as you can nudge paperwhites and crocus and hyacinth, you can force, or as I prefer to say, encourage
, shrubs and trees to blossom inside.
Forsythia, crabapple, cherry, pear, pussy willow, quince and dogwood, for example, are all suitable choices.
Simply cut long branches (that won’t affect the look of the plant later) containing many buds along the stem. Clip an “x” into the tip of the branch to open it and place in fresh, warm water. You might have to be patient! But, possibly before nature herself, in a few weeks you should have lovely, fragrant and gracefully arching wands of color.
Then gather up some vintage bottles in different shapes and sizes and hue and you can create a little orchard. This is what I put together for our dining room yesterday:
The bottles are a mixture of antiques given to me by my Mom, plus thrift store finds (my price limit: $1.00).
To create variation in height, as the bottles are mostly fairly small, I used some crystal candlesticks as stands, inverting one for interest.
Even if spring is late in making her true entrance, be assured she will come, and that she will be all the more joyfully welcomed for the extended prologue of late winter.
Knowing such things with certainty gives stability to our hectic lives. And, though we are each the architects of our own destiny, or as my dear friend Amy
says “You are the writer of your own happy ending…”, it’s good to know we are part of something grander and more enduring, isn’t it?
(I’m quite busy on a biggish project that may prove to be a breakthrough for our little company(!), but I will stay in touch as much as poss. Also working on a fun project this weekend, that, if all goes well, I’ll share on Sunday night to bring a little song to the start of your week! I hope your weekend bestows something sparkly and bright!)