"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Plum Trees on a Cloudy Day

From Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver:

“Finally the earth grows softer, and the buds on the trees swell, and the afternoon becomes a wider room to roam in, as the sun moves back from the south and the light grows stronger. The bluebirds come back, and the robins, and the song sparrows, and great robust flocks of blackbirds; and in the fields blackberry hoops put on a soft plum color, a restitution; the ice on the ponds begins to thunder, and between the slices is seen the strokes of its breaking up, a stutter of dark lightning. And then the winter is over….”

From “Spring, Coast Range” by Kenneth Rexroth in The Ecopoetry Anthology, edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street:

There are tiny hard fruits already on the plum trees.
The purity of the apple blossoms is incredible.
As the wind dies down their fragrance
Clusters around them like thick smoke.
All the day they roared with bees, in the moonlight
They are silent and immaculate.

From “Millennial Spring” by Charles Goodrich in The Ecopoetry Anthology, edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street:

The plum tree in full blossom —
       slower than this
                does not go.


I took the photos below on a mostly cloudy day in late February, which worked out well because whenever the sun came out, these new plum blossoms reflected the sunlight too much. With the sun filtered through the clouds, however, the flower petals showed off their truer color, even if it’s only slightly more colorful than pure white.

I had this sense — while standing beneath the plum tree, as one does — that I was surrounded in a cloud of plum-colored mist: even my hands holding the camera took on the purple/pink hue that bounced about the branches, leaves, and flower petals of this delightful tree. The leaves especially — as you can see in the pair of larger matching photos below — exhibit one of the richest colors to be found in late winter or early spring blooms. The last photo in this series — where some of the color from the rest of the tree is apparent in the background — might give you the same sense I had under the tree: that I could stand there all day, and just be like a plum!

Thanks for taking a look!

February Daffodils and Plum Blossoms

From Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond by Elizabeth Lawrence:

“There are daffodils in February, or even in January on rare occasions when the little early trumpet or ‘February Gold’ show a flower or two; the various kinds bloom on until the middle of April or later.”

From The Reason For Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives by Stephen Buchmann:

“In China, favorite garden flowers are treasured for their symbolic meanings in art, literature, and society…. Flowering plums represent happiness and friendships.”


Below are some photos of a small batch of late winter, early spring, mid-February daffodils (most found in the sun but shielded from cold breezes by nearby tree trunks), and some flowers on a blossoming plum tree.

Thanks for taking a look!