More botanizing

More spring foliage imagery. I just can't help myself; it was a beautiful day today, and the leaves on the trees are still that supercharged fluorescent green that always leaves me a little startled that such a color is actually found in nature.

This post is for frizzyLogic, whose photographs of London plane trees and their "baubles" were in my mind today after I noticed that the sweetgum tree outside my office was producing little green bobbles of its own. 

New sweetgum leaves

Incidentally, Wikipedia tells me that the spiky fruit of the sweetgum is sometimes called a "gumball." Hee.

I've been staring at the buds on that tree since March, waiting for them to open. Longest. Winter. Ever. But as of last week, there are finally leaves.

Sweetgum branches and vapor trail

The oaks around campus are also leafing out like crazy:

New oak leaves

(Actually, I think this image is one of the better pictures I've taken lately. It doesn't quite get the intensity of the colors, but I really like the way the composition turned out.)

Walking around, looking for places to stop and take pictures of leaves, I keep thinking of George Herbert's poem "The Flower," especially the parts of it that stayed with me during some of the worst moments in grad school:

Who would have thought my shriveled heart
Could have recovered greenness? It was gone
         Quite underground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown…
And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write;
         I once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing. Oh, my only light,
                      It cannot be
                      That I am he
         On whom thy tempests fell all night.

May we all recover greenness, however and wherever we manage to find it.

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