Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Early April in LA

Now we are in the middle of Blooming May, but before writing anything else I must write about those early signs of Spring that mean so much to me.  This is one of the few times I get homesick, yearning to see the first hedgerow wild flowers- primroses, violets, windflowers, celandine.  Coming from the UK, a country where we have so many deciduous trees compared with Los Angeles,  here in LA I am always searching for that first delicate bloom you see on the trees and which I find so moving.  This post will be devoted to some of these trees.  In a post I wrote about the Fall in LA, I spoke of some trees I saw regularly when taking my young granddaughter out and these are the ones I am now showing in their new April state. First, here is the Tulip Tree- Liriodendron tulipifera:

I was fascinated to see that the seed clusters remaining from last year's flowers were still on the branches, interspersed with the fresh new leaves:

Similarly, the round, pom-pom like seed clusters of the American Sweetgum tree- Liquidambar styraciflua- were still in evidence:

But what surprized me more was the fact that on these American Sweetgum trees many of the Fall leaves- red, purple, orange, yellow- were still there, intermingled with the new bright green ones.  I do not remember ever seeing this in the UK (apart from occasionally some dead, crinkled ones left behind on, for instance, oak trees) as there Winter winds have normally blown them all away.

This gave the trees an interesting patchwork, hybrid effect...

Ash trees, too, still held some of their dead "keys", but that I have seen in the UK.

Another example of Autumn and Spring combined was on the Silk Floss trees, where their wonderful sci-fi "pods" hung among the new leaves, the floss having not yet burst out:

And what about this Yaupon holly- Cassina aquifoliaceae- that seems to be totally confused about the seasons: 

Apart from these trees, some in LA seem to suddenly be covered in technicolor green foliage, having completely missed out on that delicate first bloom.  Unfortunately I have not yet discovered the name of these particular ones (can anyone help me?):

Finally, down the street I am living on, there are these tall, rather straggly trees- Black Locusts (Robinia pseudacacia) that suddenly became transformed by ravishing pale pink flowers- similar to Wisteria- making one's walk a delight:

Now, of course, it is May and there are many more glorious, exotic flowers on both deciduous and evergreen trees- but more about that later...