Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25: Witch-hazel

On a short lunch break walk through the woods along the river, we came upon a flowering witch-hazel tree. No, this is not some confused tree adversely affected by global climate change. This fall bloomer is right on schedule, its small, yellow-green flowers emerging from the tree's slender, bare branches almost magically, life sprouting from something seemingly dead (or at least dormant). The branches are also ornamented by what must be last year's dried seed pods, little cupped wings.

To come upon this tree in fall, blossoming when everything around it, even its own foliage, is fallen and dying--is perhaps the one, last saving grace of autumn. A hurricane is due next week that will take care of any bright and lingering leaves, and then it's the long, dark slide into winter...
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
There's no bravery
in these late-blooming flowers--
that's just what they do.

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