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?

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