Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring souvenirs

Back home in Missouri now, I was inspired this morning to photograph a few of the flowering trees and plants surrounding our home. And, as I was doing this, two thoughts occurred to me.

First, it occurs to me that many of these plants are souvenirs, reminders of pleasant places we have visited, or pieces of flora taken from treasured local spots that seem to inspire us each time we visit.

For example: the golden daffodils are certain to have come from one of two abandoned farms we have visited each spring for years. It may have been the old "Doyel Place" that sits high on a timbered hill overlooking a cedar-strewn creek bottom. Or, those particular flowers could have been removed from clumps growing at the old "Algerine Place" that sits behind the decaying school house up on what was known as "Clifty Dale Road."

The Japanese Quince almost certainly came from a broad thicket of it on the hill where is has become nearly out of control since folks last lived in the cabin, now a pile of rubble. And most assuredly, those folks got their start of that plant from another site, perhaps a neighbor's garden. No one paid money to Walmart or Lowes for those daffodil bulbs that now stream in clumps down the hill and into the timber. Dug-up starts of quince were once carried in pails to a new home site where they now flourish, abandoned.

And the tulips that are just too red - they are remnants of a wonderful European trip years ago. These are products of Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Our visit to the gardens was wonderful, but the sight of these tulips brings memories of the complete trip - Amsterdam, Edam, the North Sea, and England, Scotland, and Wales. I guess that is what souvenirs should do, bring back vivid memories of travel.

My second thought this morning is sexual, I'm afraid (well sorta). Notice the red bud and service berry blooms above. Spring is much like estrus in the world of flora. The world is flowering, open, receptive, primal. In the world of animals, especially domestic animals, estrus occurs many times in a year. In the world of plants, it happens generally only once per year, spring. At any rate, perhaps while in the outdoors in spring, aside from the feeling of newness and awe, we should perhaps also turn our heads and blush.


  1. Well said Tom. Reminds me of my the Hyacinths blooming now are from my mothers funeral, and the daffodils from my Grandma's yard...And now that I think of it, the greenery of the Naked Ladies are a gift from you, and Rock Eddy Bluff!
    Good memories...

  2. I found your blog after clicking on a link in my stats -- thanks for linking to me in your sidebar.

    I've been taking photos of the flowers in my yard this spring -- since most of them were here when we moved in, I don't have tales to tell about where they came from, but some bring back memories -- and I write about that.


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