Monday, April 18, 2011

For the love of neighborhood trees

the neighborhood tree i love
Walks through our Portland neighborhood we visit with neighbors and friends, but always I visit with our trees. There are some fantastic trees on our walk, and many show their colors different times of year. I know exactly where the fig and plum trees are, where the flowering cherries live, the ancient and grand old Douglas Fir, the newly planted gingkos, and of course, I know this magnolia tree.

xi and the tree

The magnolia is blooming right now and I can't but help take a photo everytime we go by it. One of AdRi at dusk with Wink, one of my niece Xi on a rainy day walk, and one of me and Wink, posing underneath its amazing canopy of giant blooms.

me and the tree

When I first moved to Portland I would pull the car over when I saw one of these trees, and sit in awe at the flowers. I had never seen anything like it in California that I could remember. I'd get out and smell to see if it had a scent (it doesn't), but to stand underneath this canopy and gaze skyward is truly one of my favorite things in spring.

adri and the tree

Our neighbor whose yard this is in once told us about how the tree one year split in half. He loves this tree, too, and he carefully tied up the trunk where the split was, and the tree healed and continued to grow. He told of a neighbor family who would take their Easter photo every year in this tree, and of the little girl who grew up with yearly photos underneath its canopy. I loved knowing this of its history, and while I feel it's my special tree, it's even better knowing it has been a special tree to many people before me.


A Lewis said...

pink pink PINK PINK! Everywhere!

Heather said...

What an awesome story about the magnolia tree!

My neighbor has one that I can see out of my bedroom window - a wonderful sight to wake up to each morning. Each year as it starts to bud, I pray that we don't have a late freeze that will kill the buds off before they have a chance to flower!

Paula said...

This is a Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) which is a hybrid cousin of the Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), which is probably why they don't have a scent (although flowers as pretty as its seem like they should smell pretty too). Southern Magnolia blossoms have a beautiful, light, lemony scent, but you pay for that with huge, leathery leaves that don't want to decompose (or at least that's what it seems like).

That's an especially lovely Saucer Magnolia, though.

scottweberpdx said...

just wonderful...I know, when I moved here from Nebraska, it was the first time I'd seen SO MANY plants and trees I'd only ever read of in magazines...we are so lucky here...and spring here is glorious!

Unknown said...

i hadn't seen this post! i love that you included xi in this photo tradition....she talks about all her fun in portland with you and wink, she says she can't wait to go back and bring lola so she can show her everything you did together..hehe...xoxoxooxox