Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dogwood shows its true colors

Yesterday afternoon seemed much colder than even the windchill indicated. Of course, had I waited until today to photograph the redosier dogwood growing along the flood plain of my local river, I would have suffered even more. I still don't understand where all this bitter air is coming since the ice caps are melting. Wouldn't reduced ice cover make for a warmer Winter Arctic? From what I've noticed so far, climate change seems to offer lots more pain than pleasure. Anyhow, as promised, here's what the dogwood looks like this year.

redosier dogwood, February 2015
redosier dogwood, February 2015
Photo by J. Harrington

Comparing the colors above with this bright red from February 2013 leads me to conclude that the earlier photo was of primarily new growth and so it appeared more red than what we see above; that my belief that redosier dogwood becomes brighter red as we approach Spring is in error; that I do qualify as a member of the "what we think we know that just ain't so" society, and, that I'll need to return in late April or mid-May to see what the stems look like as the green brightens. Once again it's been made clear to me that it's important to pay attention to the details and to watch trends over time. Tomorrow we'll look at some Minnesota trends that could stand to receive additional attention.

The Long Voyage

By Malcolm Cowley 

Not that the pines were darker there,   
nor mid-May dogwood brighter there,   
nor swifts more swift in summer air;
    it was my own country,

having its thunderclap of spring,   
its long midsummer ripening,   
its corn hoar-stiff at harvesting,
    almost like any country,

yet being mine; its face, its speech,   
its hills bent low within my reach,   
its river birch and upland beech
    were mine, of my own country.

Now the dark waters at the bow
fold back, like earth against the plow;   
foam brightens like the dogwood now
    at home, in my own country. 

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