Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Buckeye Fever

New Buckeye leaves emerging, Prospect Park, Brooklyn

There's something magical about the Buckeyes (Aesculus sps.) and their relative, the Horsechestnut in early spring. Above is a picture of some fresh leaves on a young Buckeye in Prospect Park, only a few days since the leaf buds opened. Below a bud just a little behind in development, with the leaves not quite unfolded. (And for an amazing shot from last spring of a bud from this genus, which gets quite big right before opening, rivaling even the beauty of the magnolia's buds, check out Rebecca Bullene's photo from Brooklyn Botanic. Wow.)

Opening leaf buds of a Buckeye in spring, Prospect Park,Brooklyn

Every season you might as well go and fall in love with a tree or a flower, some bark or a bud. Right now I'm crazy about what I think is a million-dollar branch on my windowsill. That Buckeye branch is the prettiest thing. Surely the leaves right now rival even the aristocratic Japanese Maple? I'm pretty sure my ID is right on this one.


Carrie said...

I found your blog through Marie over at the 66 square foot terrace. I wish I could say that I like a Buckeye tree too, for the same simple reasons you describe. However, I am an Ohioan, and it is in my genetic code. I must say, as someone born and raised in Ohio, it is nice to see someone other than an Ohioan find beauty in a Buckeye. We are not easy to love – both the trees and the people tend to be temperamental – but we long for affection and acceptance. As briefly as possible I will tell you about my Grandfather’s “Family Tree Grove,” down on the farm (in Ohio) where he planted a tree in honor of each living member of our family. Among the Oaks and Pines and Maples are two little Buckeyes, the only person with two trees, and they represent me. From time to time they “die” and rot away, only to send out tiny, determined shoots the next year. “Buckeyes are survivors,” he told me once and I tried very hard to take the lesson of my symbolically planted tree to heart. Enough of that melodrama… Your pictures are lovely.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Thanks for the compliment Carrie and for sharing your story about your grandfather's Family Tree Grove. Lucky you, with two beautiful and resilient trees in your honor. I hope you're enjoying them this spring.