Wednesday I planned on dropping my car off at the dealership for a little TLC, so I took O’Ceallaigh to work. When I pulled into the University parking lot near OC’s lab, I saw the most incredible tree — practically leafless, but covered in bright pink blossoms unlike anything I had ever before seen.
I wanted to get out of the car immediately and take pictures. OC told me I’d better get the car to the dealership because they do business on a first come, first served basis. I didn’t stop to take photos. I also didn’t make it to the dealership on time, so I made an appointment for Friday and went to the mall and wandered around downtown a bit.
About a half hour before OC was to get off work, I drove back to the University. My camera and I had an appointment with …. a barren tree. All of the gorgeous pink flowers had fallen to the ground. Not one remained on the branches.
Friday I again took OC to work. Again when we pulled into the lot, the tree was blazing in pink glory. This time I didn’t ask OC if I had time to take photos. I knew I didn’t. My appointment was in 45 minutes and I still had downtown traffic to negotiate. So what. I parked the car, got out and spent the next ten minutes snapping photos.
These flowers are called “Shaving Brushes”. They bloom in the Spring before the leaves bud. As you can see, a bee was busy harvesting pollen.
The Shaving Brush tree is a hardwood, deciduous tree. The curled “ribbons” at the base of the flower are formed when the pod opens. These ribbons are very hard and leathery.
This last photo, like the first one, is of a white Shaving Brush Tree. If you look closely, you can see pods awaiting their turn to open. The tree blossoms every morning, and is barren by mid-afternoon to early evening.