Here in our Southern mountains we have Dogwood Winter and Blackberry Winter. Cold snaps that coincide with the blooming of the wild dogwoods and the wild blackberries.
Dogwood Winter comes first. The first wild tree to bloom in my woods. Its flowers appear as a soft haze of subtle blossoms – not quite white, not quite pink, not quite green – visible primarily because the woods around them are still brown, not yet in leaf.
The grass is greening, the yellow trillium have come and gone, the tiny woodland violets and anemones are up, and my beloved pear tree always blooms first. But the trees of summer are still waiting their turn.
Every year I try to find a way to photograph the wild dogwoods when they bloom. I am never satisfied with the results. They turn their small faces skyward. My eye recognizes their appearance – my camera is mystified. I can’t call them shy, they are too self assured. This year, I offer pictures of them silhouetted against the sky, and some close-ups of the blossoms.
— Helen Geltman
Panther Creek, NC
Pear Blossom Spring
I took these six photos within minutes of one another on a crisp early morning on Ninth Avenue at 20th and 21st Streets. At this hour the Avenue is usually buzzing with traffic, which halts only long enough for the crossing guards to shepherd children and their parents across it on their way to PS 11 between 9th and 8th, or the Guardian Angel Catholic school on 10th.
But now, only derelicts, dogwalkers, and intrepid joggers are about. And yours truly, addicted to witnessing the city’s awakening in whatever state it and I find ourselves. Only a few shops are open in the surrounding blocks: a bodega and Rozzo’s fish store (see their truck and owner toward the bottom of the fourth image).
The birds – and there are a lot of them in view or earshot, from sparrows to gulls, to a host of others whose songs you can hear, but whose names you don’t know – press on with spring, seemingly undeterred.
— Eric Darton