The Tradition of Tree Giving Continues

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” ~William Blake

As a little boy my youngest son gave my father a tree. Every time he visits my dad they go out to check the progress of the tree’s growth. The once small twig now stands taller than both of them. My father’s love of trees has not only passed on to me but through me to my youngest son. This year for Mother’s Day he gifted me with a tree. Not just any tree, but a Dogwood tree. The Dogwood happens to be both the Virginia state tree and flower. Think the Old Dominion has a love affair with the Dogwood? I have been so tickled for our yard to be home to some Cardinals (Virginia’s state bird)…and now I am home to a Dogwood as well. Do you get the idea that I absolutely love living in Virginia? Why yes indeed, I love Virginia from the mountains to the ocean and all in between!

Living in the Gap

May 12, 2012 – Heat of the Day

I wake up with yesterday’s migraine in the background. It lingers, punching now and then to let me know it has the power to take over at any time. DirtMan and I go to purchase landscape plants. The heat presses on my forehead and down my neck now and then. DirtMan has a flat of ornamental purple fountain grass and Japanese sliver grass. I attempt to meet him at the checkout with my cart of sweet basil, lavender, bee balm, lantana, and verbena. As I approach the flat, I see him outside carrying two more plants. When he returns I question him about getting more. Apparently while he left his cart unattended to help me get fertilizer someone stole two of his plants. Two ladies in front of us (apparently they were witness to his realization of the theft) turn around and tell him they almost took some of his plants and hid them while he was outside just to see his reaction. He laughs and tells them his watchdog (me) is now on guard and would have readied the situation. We look to the side and see his two plants in an unattended cart. I watch to see who comes to the cart…appears to be a sweet elderly couple. Perhaps they thought the flat was a display stand. As we roll our purchases outside one of DirtMan’s pots fall off the flat, dirt splays onto the pavement but plant remains intact. One of the ladies remarks as to whether it is a sign he is not meant to buy those plants! The heat and headache don’t make for a good day of planting, so we save the work for the next day.

Living in the Gap

May 13, 2012 – Taking it Slow

Both male and female cardinals perch upon the feeder. Each time we get close to the window to take a picture he flies away. Time after time we approach slowly, and still the male takes off as soon as he catches a glimpse of us. The female doesn’t scare as easily. She pecks and pokes her head about as she continues to eat. At times she sits till and stares right at us.In fact, it is almost as if she is posing for the camera.

Living in the Gap

May 14, 2012 – Impending Rain

After a leisurely walk with Wylie, DirtMan and I relax in the backyard. We both notice the change in the air. Dampness hangs about us as a crisp moisture enters the atmosphere. The sun has not set but it is nowhere in sight. Clouds float and reshape. The chimes cling and clang in the slight breeze. A peregrine falcon gracefully soars among the treetops. Wings arched, it appears to be a capital M drifting into the clouds.

Living in the Gap

May 15, 2012 – Morning Storm

I hear what sounds like furniture scraping against the floor upstairs. It grumbles a bit louder, and I realize it is thunder. I look out the window to see a veil of darkness pushing its way in like a schoolyard bully forcing his way into the sandbox. As the rain starts to plummet it appears as if someone has placed a layer of plastic wrap between me and my world. Tree limbs that were gently swaying are blurred into a green mass of watercolor.

39 thoughts on “The Tradition of Tree Giving Continues

  1. I love the Blake quote at the beginning.

    It’s really cool that your family is able to track the progress of the tree! When I was in elementary school, they use to give us tiny tree on Earth Day. We planted them at my parents’ house, and they’re still growing!

  2. This is extraordinary, from start to finish. “…layer of plastic wrap between me and my world.” is the best imagery I think I’ve ever read. Your photos are amazing too. You weave such magic with your words, Suzicate!

    • Thank you for saying that, Linda. I was afraid my “plastic wrap” imagery might throw people off and make me sound crazy, but that was the closest description I could get to what I wanted to portray.

  3. Suzi, I loved your first story about the tree! And it’s funny, because I just reread the book, The Giving Tree, which kinda reminded me of your story and the power of trees!

    I also, and usual, enjoyed your Living in the Gaps. Your photographs of the cardinals are just beautiful. I can’t believe how CLOSE you got in that second shot – WOW!

    It’s been raining here too. In fact, today it’s pouring. But, I adore rain!

    Have a faaaaaaabulous day, my friend. Hope your migraine is gone.

    X

    • I love “The Giving Tree”.
      The close shot is due to a good lens…was taken through the door window (that’s why the clarity is off).
      Yes, this morning held that contemplative mood rain brings me…but I couldn’t dwell in it because the day called!

  4. Love the story of your son and the Dogwood — will it be pink or white? We have a pink one — I bought it for my parents years ago — and it’s just such a rewarding plant to grow. The Dogwood Legend is lovely, too (Google it, if you’re unfamiliar with it!).

  5. What a wonderful tradition, and the imagery in this post is gorgeous.

    I nurtured a tiny tree that came with us from our old home – a seedling from a tree my boys climbed as toddlers and little kids. I managed to keep it alive and growing in this, the post-divorce home, for 6 years. And then no longer.

    Oddly, it didn’t make it around the same time the family dog passed, and my older son headed to college.

    Obviously, I miss our beloved pet, and it’s strange how miss that little tree. But I focus on the seedlings that stand tall and strong – my sons – and the other trees here, that continue to thrive.

    • Trees can grab our hearts just like people and pets!
      Sorry the tree didn’t make it. We have a bush started from a bit of my hubby’s mother’s bush that was transplanted from her other home and originally came from her parents! That original bush has made its way all over the state and now graces several yards!

  6. What a lovely post. Virginia, is in my opinion, one of the most beautiful States. And Cardinals, ah, one of my favourite birds very rarely seen here in Nova Scotia. Loved this line:” I look out the window to see a veil of darkness pushing its way in like a schoolyard bully forcing his way into the sandbox.” You weave beautiful imagery with your words. It’s always a delight to the senses to visit here. Namaste.

  7. Dogwoods are beautiful, I agree! I love how they really hold onto their flowers for quite a while, too. A coworker of mine told me today that he got his wife a tree for her first Mother’s Day. So, I thought it was neat when I saw your post on the same topic tonight. I hope the dogwood brings you many years of beautiful big blooms and hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    • That is so cool that someone else got one for mother’s day as well…a wonderful gift it is! It seems many of the dogwoods in the park trails (in the wild) are a bit scraggly but I’ve seen some really nice ones otherwise. They are beautiful in bloom.

  8. How fun to be able to check the tree’s growth progress! And now you have your own tree to watch. That’s a great gift, much better than flowers that die within a week :)

  9. Flowering dogwood trees are among the hottest landscaping trees out there. But while they are a hot item, they prefer a spot in your landscaping where it stays cool, a spot with dappled shade. For reasons I discuss below, I place dogwoods at the top of my list of shade plants.

  10. You have such sweet and thoughtful boys! What a lovely gift of a tree. That is definitely a gift that keeps on giving, not just to you but possibly to generations to come.

  11. Love your pictures – there are many of the eastern birds I miss and the Cardinal is definitely one of them. How nice that we can still enjoy what is not in our areas through these blogs! I have tried several times to grow a Dogwood tree here, with no success. The best I can do is redtwig and greentwig dogwood shrubs, which are just not the same! And Virginia is one of the states I have not been in – perhaps someday when I make one of the trips of my dreams down the east coast I’ll get to enjoy at least a part of it.

  12. your youngest son is so cute… too bad, at our place here, we live in the flat, no garden so that my sons cannot do the gardening. There was one day, my older brought back his little plan in a plastic cup from school with a measure ruler in it :)

    I love the picture of the bird, it is so natural, Suzi

    • Thanks. It is kinda’ funny when we think about it now though it was frustrating at the time. We were purchasing a lot of plants and had a count for the design, so we couldn’t be short!
      Thank you so much for passing on this info, Nancy.

  13. OUr youngest received a pine tree sapling when she was in second grade from her teacher. It’s a huge tree now and one of the prettiest in our yard. We grew it in a 5 gallon bucket for a year before transplanting it!

    Love your shot of mama cardinal! Guess you can’t really “ruffle her feathers” much, huh? ;-)

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