Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Of Rain and Bud Burst

Spring is in full-swing here in the Pacific Northwest, and we have enjoyed many fine days of rain. I thrive on the grey and the wet, and so do the evergreens.

A few days ago, I slipped out to catch a photo of the first dogwood tree which I have found thus far on my property. Everyone around seems to have big, happy dogwoods, and I was beginning to feel left out. These shy, slow-growing jewels hide quietly among their evergreen partners; then emerge with their unique, opalescent grace of big, buttery blossoms.

Meanwhile, I spotted the first emergence of fresh evergreen tips on the tallest Douglas firs, and their shorter companions are not far behind. The rain has every tree swelling; alders are transformed from sticks to thickets; ferns and mosses creep out from the woodwork; wheelbarrow traffic must pause for crossings of salamanders and frogs.

It’s easy to get lost gazing skyward, but the forest floor is rich with new growth: lichens, mosses, and shrubs of all kinds are ready for fruit and flower. Soon, I will be able to share the rhododendrons, salal, and huckleberries. Today, I conclude our images with the soft leaves of the foxglove, and the patient reawakening of the salmonberry.

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