April 6, 2015

When the Redbuds Bloom

Every spring morning I walk down the hill to give the horses their grain. While they eat I look at the edges of the hayfield to see what's new, what's blooming, what's leafing out. First the sand plums bloomed in small white thickets. And then, finally, the redbuds bloomed.

That's what I've been waiting for. Each spring there are more pretty trees, evidently the younger trees are old enough to bloom. It's such a beautiful scene, and I waste no time in walking out to the edge of the field to take a look. I love redbuds.

They grow on the edge of a large ravine full of oaks and other trees. I carefully skirt the underbrush to get close enough to the trees to get nice pictures. I know I have hundreds of photos from past years, but I can't resist taking more every spring.

I remember my first redbud tree. We had moved into a parsonage in Michigan with a very nice one-acre yard. When spring came that tree the children loved to climb on bloomed with such pretty pink-purple flowers. I took my photos with me when I visited my grandmother, who had grown up in Texas. "Redbuds!" she exclaimed. She hadn't seen one in so many years, and she told me how much she loved them. I've loved them ever since too. That beautiful old gnarled tree that our children climbed on in our Michigan yard is a fond memory.

Did you know you can make jelly with redbud flowers? I've wanted to do that for a long time, but it would take a lot of petals, and I've come to the conclusion that we don't eat enough jelly to make it worth the work. And while I'm able to get close enough to the edge of the ravine to take pictures, I've not gotten close enough to pick enough flowers for jelly.

My goal today is just to take pictures, to bring home half a dozen twigs to go in a vase on my desk, and a handful of the seed pods that still cling to the trees. The thing I like least about my redbud trees is that they grow too far away from the house, and I can't see them except from the horse barn. I'd love to have some that I can see from my windows so I'll try to "plant" the seed pods.

Spring certainly makes up for winter, doesn't it?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. Redbuds too, are one of my favorite spring-time trees. I had one that limbs intermixed with a dogwood and it was a delight to see each spring. Have a blessed day, Heather

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:38 AM

    That must have been beautiful, Heather!

  3. The photos of your redbuds are lovely. Yes, it is a delight to see the beginning of spring! You mentioned the sand plums in blossom--I have had sand plum jelly but I don't think I have ever seen the tree.

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:33 PM

    Thank you, Carol. Sand plums grow on more of a bush than a tree, although I've seen a few that are quite a bit taller than I am. Thank you for visiting!

  5. Soooo beautiful. I miss those, too and I've been saying that lately ;) My high school Choral teacher posted a picture of Dogwoods on FB recently that made me gasp with its beauty. Your friend above, Heather, must have felt she'd died and gone to Heaven with the intertwined dogwood and rosebud.

  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:13 PM

    Thank you, Mary. I grew up in California and didn't know what I was missing!

  7. We have many Redbud trees here in town and they are gorgeous. I had no clue though that the seed pods (which we find in our yard) came from those trees.

  8. Anonymous7:05 AM

    LUV those Redbuds! There are many different varieties. Here in Missouri we have alot of Eastern Redbuds. Did you know they are actually a member of the Legume family? The flowers are also very pretty in salads, as well as the jelly you mentioned. Also a very sacred tree in Native American culture, some tribes used the charcoal for tattooing.
    Ancient stories refer to one variety of Redbud as a "Judas" tree, supposedly the blooms started out white and then turned "Red with the blood of Judas"...pretty morbid, sorry!
    They are still beautiful thank you for sharing your photos.

  9. I love the redbuds too... they are so pretty... we have one in our front yard.... and we put some of the blossoms in our salad. :) Nice pictures... beautiful land.

  10. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:42 PM

    Thank you both, Gentle Joy and Anonymous Reader. I did know the flowers are edible but haven't tried them. They'd be a pretty addition to a salad.

    With their seed pods, it makes sense that redbuds are a member of the legume family.

  11. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:44 PM

    Ida, they are such a pretty tree in the spring. Seed pods can sure travel, can't they?

  12. Yes, it does make up for winter. I'm so glad for the hope and beauty of spring. Those trees are very beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures. I hope you get some to grow near your house.

  13. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:22 AM

    Thank you for stopping by, Jendi. Yes, spring is beautiful!

  14. Oh my such lovely photos and memories. I did not know you could make jelly with the blooms, I must check into that. Thank you for sharing. Best, Kim

    1. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:00 PM

      Thank you, Kim. I hope your memories are sweet.

  15. Oh, such gorgeous photos! I know these will look lovely in a vase too! Thank you for sharing your love of God's creation on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)

  16. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:43 PM

    Thank you Jes. I've been enjoying the vase all week. Thank you for stopping by.

  17. What lovely blooms and they are a pretty colour. Spring definitely makes up for winter and brings such colour and new life. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays Kathi, Blessings.

  18. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:49 PM

    And thank you for hosting, Terri. I always enjoy your hop and the posts that are linked up to it.

  19. These are beautiful! I didn't know the flowers were edible until someone posted a salad recipe last week! We don't have redbud trees here, but I did find dog wood trees on my property the first year we lived here. I look for them every spring and found 2 new small ones last year!

  20. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:24 PM

    How neat that you have two new little trees. May they continue to multiply!


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