Driving the bees plum loco?

May 18th, 2013     1 comment     permalink

A flowering tree stands guard in the Stillwater Grill parking lot

Not sure we have enough bees in town to pollinate all of the bloomsMay 14: I’m beginning to feel sorry for the Brighton bees. How will they ever finish their work when the trees are this energetic? This ornamental plum (?) (Nanina will correct me in a comment!) greets dinner guests in the parking lot at Stillwater Grill.

No more than 15 feet tall, the branches create a 20′ diameter “umbrella” of blooms crowding each other. Maybe it’s good the bees can’t possibly pollinate all of these flowers. Think of the piles of berries that would accumulate under the tree this fall if they did. We’d have to import extra songbirds to devour them.

Ready for opening night

May 6th, 2013     0 comments     permalink

The branches are filled with flowers ready to unfurl their petals

These white crabapple blossoms begin with buds tinged with pinkThe buds on most of the ornamental flowering trees near the millpond are ready to explode in their annual showing. I wonder what is the cue (or cues) they need to go on stage. Is it the length of daylight? Daylight temperature? Nighttime temperature? Ground temperature? Maybe it’s a complex equation involving all of those factors. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. The show is always spectacular and too brief.

Spring has officially sprung now

May 5th, 2013     0 comments     permalink

The flowering trees are beginning to bloom

A tulip almost glows in the dark as it begins to openAfter many false starts, spring arrived this past week with several warm sunny days. The early spring flowers took their cue and began to bloom. By the time this exuberant season ends, you’ll tire of seeing so many posts with branches filled with buds.

Above, a small tree behind the Old Town Hall was one of the first to flower. I’m not wise enough to know the species, but I think it’s in the crabapple family. Right, a tulip almost glows in the dark as it prepares to fully open. It’s in a raised bed of tulips in the front of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church beside the millpond.

More buds for you!

May 17th, 2011     0 comments     permalink

What is there left to say about spring flowering trees other than they’re blooming now and pretty miraculous? How do buds tips survive the harsh winters in this region and then burst forth with such energy?

The blooms on some maples (below) aren’t impressive, but they are plentiful. Each will become a “helicopter” seed in the weeks to come.

Cue the minister

May 13th, 2011     0 comments     permalink

It’s almost too much this year, all of the flowering trees in the downtown Brighton area. Most of them are in full bloom right now, and covered with way-too-many white flowers. It could be a Hollywood set for a memorable wedding.

I assume some are crabapple. None are the northern Mock Orange I learned to identify as a kid because a neighbor let me collect all of the bees that hovered around hers. The rest of the species are just a white blur, but a welcome one each spring that doesn’t last long enough.

Instant Spring

May 12th, 2011     0 comments     permalink

I’m continually amazed how trees can have bare branches one day and then be covered with blooms in a couple of days. I think this is a crabapple tree standing beside Ciao Amici’s restaurant on Main Street in Brighton. Note that the color of the few remaining buds are a rich red while the fully opened flowers are white with a slight pink blush.

Catalpa Time

June 21st, 2010     1 comment     permalink

Flowers on a Catalpa Tree

The large, white blooms on the Catalpa trees stand above the leaves on panicles like the Horse Chestnut I previously posted, but they aren’t as impressive even though they are bigger. The flowers look a bit like frilly snapdragons and the buds look like wads of wet Kleenex. But the trees with their huge leaves as still quite a sight during their bloom in mid-June. The flowers have a nice fragrance and a smattering of purple and gold.

The Catalpa flowers rise above the huge leaves

Lucky Lindens

June 19th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

Linden Tree Blooms

I don’t remember ever reading about American Linden (also called Basswood) when I was a boy scout studying native trees. But in building planes and things, I often bought chunks of basswood because it was lightweight and easy to carve. Just a few years ago, a friend pointed out a Linden tree and showed me it’s unusual light-green bracts that are on the stalks of the buds/blooms/seeds. So now I can spot a Linden tree with ease. The City of Brighton has planted several of them near the City Hall and Circuit Court buildings.

What I didn’t know until this past week is that the blooms have an incredible fragrance. The trees are covered with them right now, tiny clumps of white fuzzballs. When you approach them, the air fills with a heady scent. It isn’t heavy like Lilac. It’s more like Dove soap but not as strong. I can’t describe it better than that. I have a tin nose.

Stars at Eye Level

June 5th, 2010     0 comments     permalink

Chinese Dogwood in Bloom

cdogwtree_3900_275Long after the native dogwoods bloom, this one’s 4-pointed stars start to shine. I’m surprised we don’t see more Chinese Dogwood planted by landscapers. It’s a hardy decorative tree that’s dramatic during its 6 weeks of blooming, bears edible berries, and some varieties have colorful autumn foliage. Two mature trees grace the garden at Keehn Funeral Home on Main Street in Brighton, Michigan. The branches are covered by the flat white bracts (they aren’t petals) which are about 5″ in diameter. In the center of the bracts, clusters of tiny green flowers grow.

Panicles in Bloom

May 16th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

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The Horse Chestnut tree is spectacular in spring. The blooms stand in clusters about a foot above the branches on “panicles.” There are 20-50 blooms per panicle and each one is about an 1″ in diameter. The blooms remind me of those on catalpa trees, but they won’t be blooming for another month or so. I’ll try to get pictures of them when it happens.

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Spring Weary

May 7th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

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Forgive me for posting so many flowering trees at Words4It. I know I’m being repetitive and promise to move in other directions as the weeks go on. The flowering tree season is short and I’ve taken lots of photos of them. I’ll save some to post during the dark days of winter just to spice up the photographic variety.

Abundance Beyond Reason

May 5th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

Flowering Tree Near Millpond

Okay now. This is getting ridiculous. What right does this flowering tree have to upstage all of the others? It’s being downright rude!

Color at Night

May 3rd, 2010     0 comments     permalink

Flowering Tree

We usually think of nighttime washing away color, but in this case (above), with the help of my camera’s flash, the colors look much better than they do during the day (below). Bright sun kills the rich reds of both the flowers and foliage. I think the ultraviolet rays of the sun moves the reds toward the blue end of the spectrum while my camera’s flash adds a touch of yellow. The bloom is spectacular, but you don’t notice as you drive by during daytime.

Color During Daylight

Nightgardens Again

May 2nd, 2010     0 comments     permalink

Nightgardens 4

As most of you know by now, much of my time spent photographing is done after dark. Some of the plant images have a certain quality about them that fit within what I’m calling my “Nightgardens” series. This is one of them because of how the soft light helps define the depth of the flower covered branches.

Nothing crabby about these

May 1st, 2010     0 comments     permalink

Fully Opened Crabapple Blossoms

Pink buds open to pure white flowers with soft yellow centers on this crabapple. The trees are so covered with blooms, it’s difficult to isolate individual clusters to photograph.

When is too much too much?

May 1st, 2010     0 comments     permalink

White blooms on a small tree

Creationists will tell you that it’s just “because,” but I think everything on the Earth evolves for a reason. I wonder, however, why flowering trees find it necessary to bloom so abundantly. Certainly it takes a lot of energy to do it and the profusion of seeds generated by the blooms is thousands of times greater than needed to guarantee the next generation of trees. Perhaps it’s needed for those years when frost hits the trees and most of the blooms are killed. Maybe one or two can still set seeds on those years. The blooms on this tree, by the way, are only half opened when these shots were taken on April 24, 2010.

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Sick of my buds yet?

April 29th, 2010     2 comments     permalink

Buds on Flowering Trees

Sorry, you’re going to see more of these guys for a few days. It’d be nice if Nature spread out the bloom of flowering trees, but she throws them at us all at once.

More buds on Flowering Trees

My Best Buds

April 28th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

Crabapple Buds

Like tiny rose buds, these crabapple flowers will open on the next warm day.

10,000 of My Closest Buds

April 27th, 2010     1 comment     permalink

Crabapple Tree Ready to Flower

Cool daytime temperatures have kept the flowering trees from full bloom, but they are more than ready. The winter didn’t damage the buds so the trees are filled with blooms like this crabapple close to my front door. I gripe about the low resolution of images online and this is really a major problem with images where a lot of detail exists like this tree. You can click on the above image to see more detail, but even that image doesn’t show all of it since the original is much larger. Below is a tiny portion of the original at full resolution so you can see how each branch is drowning in buds. It’s difficult to fathom this tree looked like this just two months ago.

Crabapple Buds

Setting the Stage for the Bloom

April 24th, 2010     0 comments     permalink

Clusters of Tree Flowers

Before this unidentified tree turns into a ball of blooms, it has sent out clusters to hold them. Each has been spaced to give the blooms full exposure so their pollinators don’t have to crawl their way through branches. They can fly in, grab their nectar reward, leave some pollen, and head toward the sky without dodging neighboring blooms. You can click either picture to see larger versions, but here’s a close up from the below image. Note the burgundy leaves just emerging within the flower clusters. Isn’t that more miraculous than seeing the face of Jesus in a slice of toast?

Clusters of Flowers on a Tree

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