Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tree Tulips

Our first true, wet, Tennessee spring in two years has set the forest afire with flowers. Far up in the reaches, beyond the reach of dirty-foot dryads, are the poplar tulips. The blossoms are heavy like magnolias but not as big. Green, yellow and orange, you usually only see them on the ground after a big blow or a heavy rain. As luck would have it, I came across a huge limb blown down by a recent storm.

The flowers are pretty in the way I most like pretty--twisted with the colors off just-so. Like the pretty part of death or the pretty part of a dreadful calamity. I'm told not everyone is capable of appreciating such things. How pitcher plants and some orchids look like something from a dark place or a planet we couldn't possibly cohabit. But poplar tulips are like that, a delicate sickly green touched by jaundice with a splash of dangerous orange in the center. They look like something a clever fey would concoct a precious poison with--a poison fatal to inconstant lovers, perhaps. Or people who speak without thinking. Or the pompous. Or maybe not the pompous because they are just funny. Annoying sometimes but generally funny. I mean, it's funny when someone thinks they are better than you for whatever reason, since you can hear the thundering bootsteps of hubris clomping along behind them and the whistling displacement of air as said boot kicks the pompous in the arse. (As it always does...)

And poplar wood breaks with the exact brittleness of human bone. How cool is that?


  1. auntbear said...
    I love the way you put words together.Almost worth a thousand pictures.
    Mama Kelly said...
    Beautiful photo and even more beautiful description

    Mama Kelly

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