Spring is coming. Breathe.
Indeed, in some places Spring is already here.
In a previous post I tentatively identified this as a hibiscus: heavy on the tentative since I was pretty sure that was wrong but couldn’t think what else it might be. A neighbourhood mail carrier whom I accosted as a potentially in-the-know local suggested it might be Bird of Paradise. Not. But I appreciated his willingness to lean in.
I now identify it less tentatively as some sort of azalea. Or maybe a rhododendron, which category includes azaleas much as rectangles include squares but not vice versa.
But whatever its botanical classification, it does the northern heart good, doesn’t it?
Coulda fooled me. Fact is, you did.
Tom – I know. Me too/two. Those azaleas are tricky.
I have a long history with rhododendrons. When I was a child, attending school in northern India, rhododendrons grew wild on the hillsides. Only red ones, mind you, but 40 feet tall. Whole mountain sides flaming red. The expat families gathered them and made jam and jelly with them. Most books will tell you that rhododendrons and azaleas are poisonous, but like taro, they’re not if you boil them long enough. The flowers made jellies, mostly, with magnificent colour.
An acquaintance fell out of a tree that he had climbed to gather blossoms. Broke his leg. It was the first time I had seen a compound — i.e., open — fracture.
There are places in Ireland and Wales where the rhododendrons bloom wild along the valleys. I’ve never managed to be there at the right time to see them in their full glory.
Jim T – A lovely image: hillsides of giant red rhododendrons. Our naturalist guides in Scotland informed us that those pesky Victorians had brought rhododendrons back with them from their travels and the plants are considered an invasive species in the United Kingdom. Eradicating them from old-growth forest is on the agenda, but not proceeding quickly. A mammoth undertaking.
Gorgeous! Reminds me of spring. We are all getting a little winter weary here, although really the winter hasn’t been that bad. All relief is welcome, even a photo. Thanks
Judith – 🙂 <
> Indeed, and not just from winter weariness, eh? And even when we can’t cure, fix, or otherwise correct the underlying condition, we can often provide relief of some sort.