I have always been a tree person. In my childhood home, there was a huge Kentucky Coffee Tree growing on our front lawn. I rearranged my bed so that it was up against the window and I could lie looking up through the branches when I went to bed.
I have fallen deeply in love with many Canadian trees in my life, in fact — a weeping willow at my aunt’s farm that I used to sit under, a gnarled old apple tree at the same farm all by itself on a hilltop, a giant oak that was a couple of hundred years old in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
I even bought a painting last year by a New Brunswick artist from Etsy of the silhouette of a tree against a starlit sky.
And so it’s like I’ve died and gone to tree heaven since I moved to the D.C. area, which is really just one gigantic, lush forest. The reason I fell so in love with the house I am in right now was because of the big forest-like backyard that I stare out at all the time. It’s like having a view.
And all spring, I have been watching this crazy Dr. Seuss-like tree erupt beautifully outside my and my son’s bedroom windows. I didn’t have a clue what it was. Its branches are curved and exotic, like something you’d see in Japan. Suddenly, these greeny-yellow, four-petaled flowers showed up, before any leaves. They slowly got bigger and bigger and bigger; almost cartoonish. It took me weeks to figure out that this is the famous dogwood tree — all my life I thought a dogwood was an entirely different tree. And if you’ve never seen one before, you really must. They are really breathtaking.
But so is everything here right now, beyond the world-famous cherry blossoms. I have never seen so many flowering trees — pears, apples, dogwoods, weeping cherries, etc. Everywhere I go, I just sort of gaze around in astonishment. It’s like a fairyland, it really is.
The photo above is the view out my bedroom window of the lovely dogwood.