A warning: I haven’t felt the urge to photograph the same thing over and over again since I had a photo-frenzy at Lake Bled. So if you’re sick of spring tree posts, bypass this one!
At last! I can go in search of spring outside instead of waiting for it to come to me. The few days shut in with specimens has given me an eye for them in their natural habitat. The blossoms and buds and leaves hang, dangle, sprawl, spray, trail, drape, recline, swathe, festoon. My camera is eager to capture them, and they oblige in the grey light of a post-rainy day.
I meet my first silver birch (although I may be wrong): a graceful tree with textured bark: off-white and grey-black, in stripes and fissures.
As I photograph yet more Norway maple flowers, a woman stops to talk. Her voice is animated and I listen avidly, although the only word I actually understand is “piękna” (pretty). I nod and repeat it and she continues this lovely conversation, incomprehensible although I’m actually quite sure of the meaning. Eventually she realises I don’t speak Polish and apologises. I say “I love you talking to me like this and I very much wish I could understand.” We laugh companionably and go our separate ways. I am oddly warmed by this encounter.
This is not the end of my spring pleasures on this grey morning. I meet a number of my new acquaintances, mostly attached to their parent tree except for a litter of pink debris from the catkins of the black poplar: the reddish-pink leaves and red flower buds of the crab apple, host to a pair of ladybirds and a big-eyed fly: the thickening veils and the yellowing catkins of the willows; the eruption of buds from the sycamore near the playground; the upright inflorescence and crunkled leaves of the horse chestnut; and the glorious pendularity of my new love, the box elder.