Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Difficulty with Redbud

Redbud is starting to show color around the cabin this week. It’s still several days from its peak show of color, but I couldn’t wait until then before taking my first photos of it this year.

I find redbud to be kind of a contradiction. It’s a beautiful tree when it’s in bloom but is something of an eyesore when it’s not, which is approximately 51 weeks out of the year. In fact when it’s not in bloom, it’s often mistaken for something that needs to be removed or thinned out. It doesn’t have a distinctive trunk or even an attractive shape or even much of a standard shape at all. It loves to grow in places where other things don’t like to grow, like between these rocks, or it grows where the other things that grow around it are brambles and other undesirables.

Perhaps because redbud shows its color at roughly the same time that dogwood trees bloom, many people think the purple color of the "red" bud is also a flower. It’s not. It’s really the leaf bud that will simply grow into leaves.

I also find redbud difficult to photograph. It’s easy enough to get a close up of the buds, but when you pull back and try to show the entire tree, the color blends in with the scrubbiness of its surroundings and isn’t nearly as striking. Or so I find it. Perhaps in another few days when the buds are a bit larger and more of the trees are coloring along my lane, the effect will be more striking.


Dana and Daisy said...

I kind of like them anyway though. They're resilient, tough, daring, kind of like I wish I was more often.

Carolyn H said...

Dana: I like redbud, too, though I often can't find them again once the red disappears.

Carolyn h.

Dana and Daisy said...

Carolyn, notice when the leaves are full that they are heart-shaped. That might help, and also the seed pods that hang from the branches. And earlier I noted on my blog that these seed pods are edible when green and tender. Though I have never personally tried them. The buds are said to be also.

ChicagoLady said...

When I was growing up, we had a redbud tree at the end of our driveway. I'm sure my father took a picture of it at some point. I'll try to dig it out this weekend, scan it and post it on my blog so you can see it in the surroundings of a suburban lawn. I remember it was one of the prettiest trees in the whole neighborhood.

Carolyn H said...

Dana: I didn't know you could eat redbud. I wonder how a redbud salad would taste? I might give that a try!

Chicagolady: i'll bet that redbud of yours looked beautiful!

Carolyn H.