Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fascinating Flowering Trees

On our evening walk yesterday, my husband, Carn, and I were engrossed in conversation.  After having to duck under a tree with low branches overshadowing the sidewalk, Carn turned around, looked up and said, "Wow!"  We realized the beautiful fast-growing, flowering Mimosa Tree we had seen many times before was in full, resplendent bloom.  It was a bit late in the day and I wasn't sure how my photos would turn out, but I think I captured some of the glorious handiwork of The Divine Designer.  I researched information regarding the Mimosa and the others trees featured in this post. So if you are not already familiar with these fascinating flowering trees, then we are learning about them together.

Now, be prepared here for a slight dose of obsession on my part.  When I looked back over the pics, I immediately became mesmerized by all the components of the tree--the one-of-a-kind leaf structure, the pom-pom display of the bloom with silken threads, the buds just waiting to open, even the spent blooms are graceful and ethereal.

  Hummingbirds and butterflies are irresistibly drawn to the Mimosa blossom's fragrance.

In China some believe that the Mimosa will calm the mind and spirit.  I think this is exactly what The Divine Designer had in mind and I hope the photos have had a similar impact on you.

This Lilac Chaste Tree is along the same sidewalk as the Mimosa we encountered on our walk.  It can grow to about 20 feet tall and is covered with long slender multi-branching flower clusters, usually blue.  Unlike me, it thrives in heat....

In my reading about the Chaste Tree, I came across "The Grumpy Gardner" who blogs and also writes columns for the Daily South.  I just have to share his comment about the tree's name.  He says it gets it's name from the erroneous medieval belief that a potion made from the Chaste Tree could curb flirtation and other such activities.  Then he said and I quote: "In reality, wearing a house dress with orthopedic shoes and multiple nose piercings is much more effective." However, according to the Grumpy Gardner, the Chaste Tree does have a pharmacological use as an extract that supposedly does a very good job of controlling PMS. He recommends husbands should definitely plant one in the yard.

OK, moving on.....

The Mexican Plum Tree has an intoxicating scent and flowers that butterflies love. Noticing it this year as we walked through the woods brought a smile to my face as I realized it is one of the very first sights and smells of spring in North Texas.

Mexican Plum buds actually yield bountiful crops of fruit that wildlife flocks to at a critical time in early spring, taking advantage of all the vitamins, minerals and even moisture the plums have to offer. The Divine Designer providing for his creation.

The bright and showy Red Bud Tree is another one of the very first signs of spring in Texas.

The Red Bud is probably one of the most loved ornamental native trees in Texas as the colorful blooms burst forth when most of the woodlands are still bleak and drab from winter.

And then there is the centerpiece of many southern gardens, the majestic evergreen Magnolia Tree with it's dramatic canopy and creamy blossoms that fill the neighborhoods with their perfume.

The Magnolia Tree blossom is always a good and cooperative subject for a photographer.

And now, dear friends, I leave you with this final thought, a quote from the beloved poet, author and inspirational speaker Maya Angelou who just recently passed away at the age of 86.  Rising up from poverty, a harsh abusive childhood and racism in her early years, her words both stir our emotions and sooth our souls.

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