Thursday, January 7, 2016

Central Texas, where I live, is known for its fields of bluebonnets in spring. Bluebonnets are such a lovely local icon. How many paintings have I seen with a field of bluebonnets and a weathered wood windmill in the background? Quite a few.

Certain plants and trees mark other places I've lived or visited in the past. In early March in Paris around 1996, Forsythia was in full bloom - shrubs laden with shades of cheerful yellow abounded. Around June, 1976, Scottish Broom lined the highway parallel to the Straits of Juan de Fuca in northwest Washington State. In spring, 1965, south Louisiana had azaleas, mounds of pink, some shrubs as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. Around that year, there was such an azalea bush one noonday alive with hummingbirds, two or three dozen, darting in and out among the flowers. Their fluorescent feathers sparkled in the sunlight. In Abuquerque, New Mexico, September 1987, Pyracantha shrubs were weighted with berries, a fiery display of little orange spheres. That same fall, the Colorado Rockies shimmered in gold, robed with the graceful white-barked Aspen Trees.

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