Ah, we love trees. Unfortunately, I was not on the ball enough for this week's topic to take photos of some of the trees I should have around here - the buckeye for instance, which is one of the earliest to leaf out here and is Ohio's state tree. Its friendly five fingers are spreading all along the forest paths we walk. Fortunately, I take a lot of pictures of trees, so unprepared as I am, I still have some to share!
The Pawpaw has recently become the Ohio native state fruit. We have been looking for its long leaves this spring, because we love the zebra swallowtails and it is the host plant for their larvae. We didn't realized that it blossoms first, on long bare branches, and that the leaves are only just starting to appear. Apparently Audubon used the feathery tips of the new leaf growth at the ends of the twigs as a paint brush for the delicate details on the wings of his birds.
The white bones of the sycamores are just now donning some green. During the winter they are the skeletons that stand out bold against a blue sky. If you look closely enough, though, you can also see their rather festive seed balls, that look something like ornaments hanging in their branches.
Though the cherry trees along the Hocking River are not native to this area - they were a gift from Chubu University, in Japan - their short reign over the landscape is glorious. Every evening of their blooming there are special lights set up to emphasize their moon glow, and there are couples everywhere lying beneath the blossoms, soaking up the romance of this emblem of spring. And...of course they make for good climbing!
And those buds are good to eat! (Deviled eggs with violets and redbuds)