Sunday, March 15, 2009
A Sortie through the Season: Spring Arrives
In Washington, spring is a very long, elegant season, a stately progression, with the first harbingers in January, and continuing into May. Shortly after President Obama's inauguration, winter flowering jasmine, jasminum nudiflorum, opened its golden trumpet-shaped blooms, followed closely, and certainly before Valentine's Day, by Chinese witch-hazel, hamamelis mollis. The later is beloved of botanists for its early and fragrant flowers, golden threads that roll up like party favors when threatened by frost, to emerge unscathed on a better day. The fragrance is a combination of citrus and honey, light and delicious. Many early-flowering plants are fragrant- a reward for surviving the dark days?
This year, I'm photographing the forward progress of spring, first installment herewith. Above, see a Chinese witch-hazel photographed in the serpentine garden next to the Smithsonian and a pink flowering apricot, prunus mume, one of two in front of the Air & Space Museum, on March 1st. Note a dusting of snow on the ground!