Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The May Fairy Ball

The 'red trail' walk the last week of May in the Mid-Atlantic is one my rewards for weeding all the flower beds. The hillsides are filled with blooming mountain laurel. The trail goes over and around ancient sand dunes and is not near any mountains. Some walkers head straight for the beach to look for fossils and sharks' teeth. I linger and slowly drink in the beauty of all the blooming mountain laurels. In sunny places they dot the entire hillside with what appear to be thousands of fairy hats or skirts. (Click on photos for more detail)

Other laurel plants tucked further in the deep shade of the woods look like pale pink popcorn balls stuck on the ends of branches.

Before the blossoms open they are round fan-folded darts ready to launch on some magical journey. The symmetry of ten points is fascinating. They could be space pods or perhaps some oddly crystallized sugar candy.

Once the blossoms open, most are a pale off white, but sometimes when you round the corner of the trail you can discover a set of deep pink blossoms blushing as if embarrassed by their beauty.

Like little fairy skirts set out for the May Ball they appear only briefly in the spring and then they are gone. If you miss them, you miss them!


  1. I've just been over to your other place. Here too I am left speechless. Laurels round here never have flowers as huge as these, if they have any, that is, that can be seen with the naked eye. I have lots of wonderful garden plants, the moderate and damp climate sees to that, but they are all cultivated plants.
    There are gorgeous wildflowers this year; I have taken many photographs of them, but nothing on this scale.

  2. Stunning. I envy you.

  3. The laurels are not only beautiful but interesting.

    I really enjoy not only your photography but your descriptions! Obviously the fossil seekers missed the highlight of the day.

  4. I love your comments on the laurel blossoms, Tabor. The displays you captured have a lyrical beauty. They look like musical notes ready to release their spring song. Fully opened they remind me of scenes from Fantasia. Thank you for sharing! =D

  5. Those laurels are breathtakingly beautiful!

  6. What a great reward! Like you I'd be lingering a long time to drink in all that fairy floss beauty. Aren't they lovely in their intricate, delicate splendor?
    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely photos.
    Your recent posts show what I'd like to mine to...how much there is to see and do at the moment! You must be a whole lot more organized than me :) I have trouble focusing on just one subject, and it keeps me from getting posts done. Plus, I get distracted with all the other little jobs that must be done, including answering e-mail.
    Lucky you to have so many interesting birds, including indigo buntings! I saw one a few weeks ago. What a treat! So sad about the bluebirds. We don't see them around here, which may be just as well considering all our cats. The birds do surprisingly well in spite of them, but the babies often have a battle. I've rescued several birds over the years from feline jaws and claws.
    I hope to come back soon and read more, but I've enjoyed catching up with you a little this morning. Nature keeps us busy, doesn't it? Fascinating stuff :)

  7. beautiful photos, tabor!


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.