Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Monday, April 29, 2013
It's redbud week
Redbud is at its peak this week. Although it looks like a flower, the pink is actually the leaf bud. And when the leaves are fully out, the tree is green like any other tree and not very attractive. It’s a spindly, weak and unhealthy-looking tree. That same spindliness is attractive when the tree is in its pink phase, but not very for the rest of the year.
Redbud also prefer the edges of the forest and are inclined to grow in poor soil where nothing much else is happy. I’ve often wondered how many trees are cut down simply because people are culling weeds and “improving” the edges of their property and don’t realize that the spindly, unhealthy-looking tree they just cut down shows beautiful color for a week or two in spring.
The spindliness makes for interesting shapes when the twiggy branches are covered with pink buds. Unfortunately, the rest of the time the tree just looks spindly. I found it difficult to photograph a redbud among the rest of the forest trees. The rest of the photo always contained water pipes or other detritus from Roundtop. If there was junk around, there was a redbud behind it. The tree just prefers spots that other trees won’t grow in.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.