Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Dogwoods

(I tried to post this last night, but Blogger was having another one of it's hissyfits and wouldn't let me upload any pictures. So now I'm a day late with this.)

The younguns and I today went for a little hike today up Door Knob and down through our woods that comprise 'The Big Backyard'. Our Easter Sunday here was an exceptionally wonderful one. Bright and breezy; big fat puffy clouds against a clear blue sky and warm enough to break a sweat. My intentions were to get some good pictures of the dogwoods on our place, but alas,
my camera is getting old and crabby and although it does great for human subjects and the occasional dog and chicken, capturing nature, as in plant life, it seems to fail. But it could be just operator error, too.

The display this year on my place is less than spectacular, but I've seen some trees on others property that are fabulous. So I don't know what's up with that. Most years when you look out into our woods all you can see are these thick masses of white- this year it's wimpy at best, as you can see here:

So I tried for a close-up, a little better:

Then I tried for another shot of the woods, uh...doesn't really convey it. They just look like misty washes of white, not the huge masses of white they can be in some years.

I'm a little disappointed in the display this year. And these crummy pics just add to my dismay. There's a lot of fables as to why the dogwood is an understory tree and the symbolism of the blooms. The most common one is that back in Biblical times the dogwood was a tree that would grow just as big as an oak. And it was this tree that was used to fashion the crosses that Romans used for crucifixion-in particular, Christ's cross. As punishment to the dogwood, God decreed that henceforth the mighty dogwood would be always a small tree. Forever destined to grow small and unnoticed in the shadows of the bigger trees.

I have some problems with that tale, first off I don't believe that God would "punish" something of his making that has absolutely no say in it's behavior or how it is used. This trivializes God, making Him sound like a spoiled child. Second of all, I don't believe dogwoods can even grow in the climate of the Middle East. So they couldn't have been around there anyway. But it makes for a fanciful little legend, even if fraught with errors.


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Just beautiful. I can see why you are disappointed in the pics but I get a little idea of how wonderful the dogwoods must look in such profusion. Our Pacific dogwood is similar but doesn't bloom until summer and must be planted in shade or they get sunburnt. I planted one last year next to the rhododendrons under some trees. We also have a miniature native dogwood in the west that only grows about a foot high. (I guess it really got cursed with a double whammy.) I planted one of those too but now I can't find it this year.

4/17/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Cookie..... said...

Hey there naybor...years back my profession was photography...and I know that there are times when somethin y'all see with yur eye just can't (fer one reason or anuther) be captured on film or any other medium. Yur pix still looks good to me though....Cookie

4/17/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

My childhood legend was the out of grief the dogwood refused to ever grow large enough again to be used for such a purpose. Like you said, a nice story and certainly better than the way over used Footprints

4/17/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

I think maybe what happened is that the blooms might follow the sun-something I've never noticed before-but the ones in my woods seemed to be pointing up and toward the southwest. It was mid afternoon when we set out. Maybe if I went up there earlier they would have been facing more towards me. I dunno.

Kathy, now that you mention it, I do recall that version as well. I prefer that one myself than to the one in the post.
Patrick- I didn't know one could grow dogwoods out there! I always associated them with midwest climate.

4/17/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

The version that it told to children around here is that the dogwood was so grieved to be used so that it asked God never allow it to be used in that way again. God granted its prayer by making it too small to ever be used to make a cross again and he blessed it by giving it a flower in the shape of a cross with a blood stain at the end of each petal and a crown of thorns in the center.

4/17/2006 6:18 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Lem, thanks for the tale of the blooms!
I knew there was a story about them, too,but I couldn't recall it well enough.

4/17/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Liz, the Pacific dogwood is slightly different from yours but has the same white flowers.

4/18/2006 10:09 AM  

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