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Monday, April 9, 2012

Springtime in East Tennessee

 Spring has arrived in East Tennessee. Okay, it didn't just arrive, this year it ran in so fast that we are still running down the road after it. Yes, winter was hardly anything around here and by mid march, we were enjoying the kind of days that usually don't show up until mid-April.

Look hard, there is a bee right in front of you in this pic.
I love spring. It is, by far, my favorite time of the year. I cannot put my finger on a single reason, there are many to choose from. I always loved seeing school end, I was a gardening type of kid, I adore being able to open the windows and let in sweet smelling breezes, everyone seems to be a little happier, winter is over. Not one, but all of these and more. It is especially unusual considering where I grew up. Coming from Oklahoma, you would think that Spring was the time of year that I should dread. Twisters, hail the size of grapefruit, lightening that could blow apart trees, and torrential rain. But, even with all the down sides to an Oklahoman spring, I still grew up loving them. Now, I live in East Tennessee. It is less likely that I will encounter a tornado here, and the hail could be used to make snow cones (most of the time, we can forget about the hail last year). East Tennessee is renowned for its wild flowers, its blooming trees, and the greenery. The mountains come alive in spring, blooming every shade of spring color. The dogwoods are so spectacular, and prevalent, that they have all sorts of festivals around them all over the place.

If you don't believe me, check these pics out. I took them only feet away from my house this year (with the exception of the image at the bottom), and this years pics are nothing compared to last years.

Here is a type of Bradford pear tree. This type likes to hang onto its berries. It is a contrast to see the dark, dead berries from last year, with blooms all around them.

Here are some regular Bradford pear flowers from a line of the trees growing at the back of our property.
These are cherry blossom trees, or sakura. They are special to me, as they grow in front of my sensei's house. The day I took this picture was only three days before she passed from cancer. I will treasure this image, remembering all the love and beauty she brought into this world.

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