sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 24, 2012

leash, electricity, and outside (and one line)
posted by soe 8:04 pm

It’s the Thursday before a long weekend and if that’s not a reason to count the beautiful things that have led up to today, I don’t know what is. Here are three from the past week:

1. A young girl and her mother out for a stroll are sitting on a wall, taking a break. The girl has clearly brought her stuffed dog out to stretch his legs too, since he’s on his leash — a navy blue tie.

2. A storm is coming. You can feel the electricity in the air. It’s almost as invigorating as being at the ocean.

3. Knowing that it’s supposed to cloud over sometime in the afternoon, I head to the park early (for me), taking my thermos of tea and (late) breakfast with me. I get several hours sitting at a picnic table reading before I’ve usually left the Burrow.

And, while strictly this isn’t beautiful, because it made me cry, its beauty lies in its perfection. A line from Sherlock: “I was so alone, and I owe you so much.” Friendship summarized in agonizing clarity.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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the tulip tree
posted by soe 2:07 am

Just last night, Karen and I were talking about how confusing it is when two different things go by the same name. We started the conversation with the chigger, which refers both to a mite (which takes a bite out of you) and to a flea (which burrows in you), and moved on to daddy long legs, which can be an arachnid (what I grew up with), a spider, or a fly.

And today I found a third, although this one is admittedly closer than the previous two examples.

I grew up calling this a tulip tree:

Magnolia Tree

That would be a Magnolia Soulangiana. Living in the south, you come to know this is a magnolia, because it rivals the cherry for earliest flowering tree in the spring.

Come to find out, there’s another tree that’s also called the tulip tree. That would be this:

Tulip Tree

It’s also called the yellow poplar, but it’s not actually a poplar. Instead it’s a Liriodendron tulipifera.

Yellow Poplar

It’s in the Magnolia family, but not in the Magnolioideae genus (where all the magnolias are classified). Instead it’s in the Liriodendron genus.

These particular trees are growing in Rock Creek Park near Woodley Park.

Yellow Poplar Bud

Pretty cool, huh?

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