Thursday, May 02, 2013

Survival

Dozens of hundred-year trees have made their large and impressive farewells within the last three years in this yard.  With or without a storm too many have fallen across the raven and across the lawn!  Last year our little (10 foot high) dogwood faced a duel with a large tulip poplar and lost one side of itself.  It looked sad and forlorn with a torn wound throughout the winter and we wondered how it would fare come spring.  But like those who have faced battle and lost something precious of themselves and yet lived and gained strength, our dogwood came forth.  In one version talking about this tree it says the dogwood got its name from the hard wood which the American Indian used to form "dags" or daggers and arrows and it was first called dagwood.  This wood was so hard that it also was used for tool handles, wine or fruit presses, loom shuttles, mallets, butcher blocks, cutting boards and even knitting needles!  Its scientific name is Cornus florida [flowered horn].  It also has inspired legends about reminding the early Christians of the Passion of the Christ with its petals forming a cross like pattern and the very tips of the bracts blood red like the piercings of the hands and feet in the crucifixion.  The original American dogwoods are white with this red marking, mine is a hybrid that glows pink.

My dogwood came forth this spring branches unsymmetrical but with perfect pink blossoms to glow another day.  It is close to my tiny arbor and I sit and watch it stretch in the evening sun with its flowing wavy bracts that surround tiny innocuous little yellow petals in the very center.  Even the leaves with early growth have flowing lines and a pink glow.  I watch new growth on the vacant side and know that in years to come, only a small scar will remain from its battle.



13 comments:

joeh said...

They are sensitive to disease, but when they flower they are spectacular...if only the flowering stage would last a bit longer...enjoy!!

Never saw your tree's color before, it is beautiful.

Celia said...

So lovely, one of my favorite trees.

Mage said...

I've driven by the house I grew up, and much to my dismay found all the giant trees felled. I miss them.

Brian Miller said...

we had to do some surgery on our trees and yard due to some blight on them and growing together as well..

Brian Miller said...

we have a dogwood as well that is blooming beautifully off the front porch...

ellen abbott said...

Pretty. We're too far south for them to do well here though there was a very pretty white one in a yard in the neighborhood when I was a young mother.

Red said...

You've done your research on this one. Very interesting. Here they used Saskatoon bushes. they would take the bark off the bottom and let it stand for a year and dry. The wood became very hard,

Granny Annie said...

Because they always bloom around Easter, many have noticed the blooms with crown of thorns in the middle and blood stained tips on the cross.

Our area is covered with beautiful dogwood trees in bloom despite the two horrible years of drought we have had.

Dave King said...

You wonderfully convey the happy sadness of the natural scene. Lovely writing.

Kay said...

I remember mostly white dogwood in Illinois. Your pink variety is spectacular. Wow! I can really feel the spring.

Linda Reeder said...

Pink dogwoods are very beautiful. they are coming into bloom here and I always admire them in other's yards. We have the native dogwoods here in our yard, but many of them have succumbed to a fungal disease that is depleting the native trees. We replace them with Korean dogwoods, which are also white, bloom later, and are disease resistant.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

I am going to keep track of your ospreys at your place. Your property has certainly taken a hit with all those old trees no longer standing. I know storms bring them down, but so many! I have a native white dogwood that is very tall and expansive. It is sheltered in a woodland -- I hope that this will keep it out of harms way. So nice that you are encouraging all things natural to feel at home at your place. --- barbara

Linda said...

Dogwoods are beautiful and I love your lovely blossoms. Mine has variegated leaves and beautiful red branches, but I am still awaiting the flowers. My cedar is still standing. We have had lots of rain and cooler temperatures recently and it's looking okay so far. Thank you for sharing your lovely blossoms, Tabor.