“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
I am almost always away from home when our ornamental cherry tree blooms. The buds are just appearing when I have to leave for Ohio and the Biggest Week in American Birding, and are generally gone, swept away by early May wind and rain, before I get back. This year is a pleasant exception. The tree bloomed a bit late, due to our delayed spring, and the blossoms survived the storms of May long enough so that when I returned from several weeks of travel they were still there to great me. As I am sure I have said in the past, this tree has a special meaning for me…for my family. I bought it as a bare root stick at the local Dollar Store when we bought the house in the spring of 1996 and stuck it in the ground next to an old pine tree stump. The stump has long disintegrated, and, against all odds, that little bare stick has grown into a mature tree 30 feet tall and with a trunk two feet through. This year its canopy of dense blossoms shades half the front yard, and I have had to cut it back twice already on the house side to keep in off the roof.
When I see it in full bloom…when I see the tree it has become, it reminds me of all the years we have lived here in Maine…and how rich our lives here have been. Oh, not “rich” that way…but rich in love and growth and joy. There have been difficult times. There are scars in the bark of the tree to testify, but the fact is that it has gown so big and tall and strong and that it is still blooming abundantly and beautifully…that is what matters.
The blossoms are about done for this year. The petals are falling. They spot the grass and moss of the yard. And every petal could mark a blessing that has fallen into our lives in the past 23 years…a wonder of grace…a gift of love. What a wonderful God!
I don’t know how many more springs I have to see the cherry tree bloom (who does?), but I am thankful to see it now…to be reminded into thanksgiving…to be reminded to count our blessings as the petals fall. Happy Sunday!
Most female warblers do not sing…but there are at least 9 species who regularly do (perhaps over 20 who do on occasion). The Cape May is among them. The Cape May is also one of the warbler species in which the female has distinctly different coloration than the male…enough so that you might suspect it is a different species (especially when you find it singing :). And, to add another to the list of things the Cape May is…it is another of those warblers named for where it was first collected…in Cape May, New Jersey…even though it only appears there during migration between its wintering grounds in extreme south Florida, the Caribbean Islands and Yucatán Peninsula, and its breeding grounds in the extreme northern US (in New England and the Mid-west) and southern Canada. In fact, it was not seen in Cape May for 100 years after the first specimen was captured there and is still considered an occasional migrant in New Jersey. I found this one from the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Erie shore of northern Ohio during the Biggest Week in American Birding. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.