The wildflowers haven’t really popped yet, but the domesticated ones certainly have. We’ve got trees putting on spectacular shows all over the city. When I headed down to Kirkland after visiting North Creek Park, driving the city streets was an exercise in enchantment. Kirkland’s beautiful anyway, but with tulips and daffodils and great big flowering trees lining the roads, it’s utterly gorgeous right now.
These mystery trees are particular favorites of mine. They seem to come in both white and pink, and the enormous blooms are spectacular. They make me feel like I’m in some fairytale setting.
Ya’ll know these mystery flora posts are just an excuse for me to post pretty pictures, right? I thought so. Also, it’s a bragging right: I tell people all the time that my readers are up to any challenge and have a fine aesthetic sense. I like bragging about you guys. I also like taking pictures of flowers. I’m happy these two interests coincide so beautifully.
Speaking of beautiful:
This is Heritage Park, which stands above Lake Washington near Kirkland’s adorable little downtown area. It’s just a short walk up from the shops on Market Street, actually. The views of the lake are pretty much obscured by the trees, but that doesn’t matter much. Especially right now, when the trees are putting on such a lovely show.
I don’t actually know with certainty that the white and the pink flowering trees are just different varieties of the same species. I suppose it’s possible they’re just very closely related. I’d make a horrible botanist. I get so wrapped up in how gorgeous the flowers look against the sky that I forget to look at the minutiae.
I can, however, report that both trees are smooth-barked. The flowers have elongate petals, and – oooo, pretty!
You know, it’s pathetic. Show me a tree, just your basic tree, and I can concentrate. I can look at things like whether it has leaves or needles, make some assessments of leaf structure, wax philosophical about photosynthesis, and possibly even identify a species or two based on observed characteristics. This, of course, is granted I’m not cursing them out for blocking my geology. And I’m not really good at it yet, but I do try.
Show me a tree with flowers, and I lose my shit.
Can you blame me? It’s like sticking shiny minerals right next to plain brown rocks and asking a person with only a minimal interest in geology not to get distracted by the shimmery stuff.
Judging by the immature leaves, though, I can make a prediction that you flora identification experts will come back with a tree that isn’t tropical. The leaves are on the thin side, and don’t have that lush, thick, waxy appearance we see on trees that evolved in the tropics. But I suspect, from the lack of serration on the edges and the well-defined drip-tip, that these beauties evolved in warm, wet temperate areas. Probably warmer, if not wetter, than Seattle.
And that’s about all the science I can manage before melting into a puddle of goo.
Too beautiful for words. And yet, how much more beautiful would it be if I understood the science behind it?