Dean and I have been walking together with the dog after breakfast. First we go around the east field. It is a slow walk as Dean is observant of the buds opening on flowers and trees. Then we make our way across the north side of the property in the small woods. Dean has been spending several days in there in the afternoons cleaning up the fallen trees and other debris. This year, there are an incredible amount of jack-in-the-pulpit sprouting in there!
Then we make our way to the west field. It is sided by two ravines. We go down the north ravine which has a base of run-off covered in old cattail reeds. We can see dog violets blooming and red currant blooms. The aim is to get to the far side of this trail to see if the white trillium has bloomed. It is opening slowly. It is not a great specimen this year. Then up the hill we go at the west limit of my property. There is a swath of umbrella-like mayapples growing on the right-hand side. At one point, since there is no fence standing, there is a bit of a path going onto the neighbour’s property. We have discovered there is a poison ivy vine growing up a tree. Dean is not taking it down yet, waiting to photograph some of the buds changing into leaves. A frost last week froze the reddish leaves away. This morning, there is a new spot, at the branching of the tree, where new leaves have come out.
Back on my property, we follow the top of the field overlooking the south ravine. We get a lovely view of it and the opposite side, which once, before my time, all was part of one property. Dean takes one of his daily photos there. One day, during this quarantine, I strolled ahead and I notice the panoply of a tree with pinkish white crown. It seemed to be at the neighbours’ side of the property. Dean planned to look for it as we parted and he headed to his sit spot. I made my way back to the house. One day, on my own, I saw a Great Blue Heron silently fly over.
Dean did not find the tree! So again this week, I noticed the tree. The colour of the large crown had a pinkish look. I counted my steps on the top so I could figure out where it was on the bottom. The trail goes down diagonally. I had noted a red cedar and a dead tree while on the top. Regardless of all these precautions when I got to the bottom and went right, I also could not spot the tree.
Yesterday evening, walking the west field after supper, I again saw the tree. It had the most lovely soft white spray. I suggested to Dean we go down, but Dean was keen on getting the donkey and old angora goat set for the night, so he could do his other evening routines before going to bed. Besides it was a moist evening.
So this morning, we repeat our walk. Dean notices before we get from the east field to the west field, that the pear tree has started to bloom. I remembered that when I got up in the morning and looked out the bedroom window, the serviceberry by the path up to the house, (that Tony and I planted decades ago), was blooming beautifully. It is the downy serviceberry and has a nice blush to it, I have now noticed. I go over to it, diverting slightly from the usual path we take. Dean takes a photo of it, and I stand so that I can be a part of the photo.
Then we return on to our usual way through the west field. When we get to walking along the top of the ravine looking south, the mystery tree is again visible through the trees. It has an attractive blushed look to its panoply. It must be a serviceberry, I say. Dean agrees. I decide that I will follow him down the trail to try and find it again. It must be in full bloom because it is still visible from the top of the trail that goes down the slope. I say it must be to the left at the bottom trail. Yes, Dean says, that’s what I’ve said all along. We go down slowly, keeping our eyes on the whitish blooms among the myriad grey branches. As I am halfway down, I cannot see it, but Dean has the tree in view in his binoculars. I get down and turn left. I say to Dean, The tree must be on our property. Yes, he says. And the tree must be on the left side of the trail, I exclaim. Yes, says Dean. But I can’t see the blooms. I see where the tree is. There is a large fallen tree, probably a dead elm, leaning into the Serviceberry. The tree is so tall and the branchlets reaching up towards the sky, that they are not visible to my naked eye. But I know I am standing under the beautiful, blooming tree.