Spring light, new energy and the “Picnic Tree” (click on any image to enlarge)

What a difference the longer days of spring make!  Our “Picnic Tree” sports a heady canopy of leaves, while the grass beneath it grows visibly denser and the dried brown ferns of last summer rapidly disappear behind fresh green fronds. And judging by the volume and variety of songs I’m hearing, the birds around here are also feeling the spring energy.

The Picnic Tree is actually made up of several shrubs of Indian plum (Oemlaria cerasiformis), growing closely together to look like a multi-trunked tree.

Indian plum, also known as Osoberry, is a charming native species and the first shrub or tree to bloom here each year. Its flowers, which precede the leaves, usually appear in profusion by late February and last through March, a feast for hungry bees as well as for winter-weary human eyes.

Here’s how our Picnic Tree looked on February 25 this year – no visible leaves, just a mass of tiny flowers.

Large Indian plum in bloom

And here’s a closer view of those flowers in mid-March, once the leaves had started to unfold.

Detail of Iindian plum flowers

A couple of months from now, summer light will reveal a copious amount of tiny plums among the foliage. If I’m lucky (and fast), the birds might allow me to indulge in one or two before they begin their annual avian picnic.

Cluster of Indian plum fruit hanging from branch

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

12 responses »

  1. Sustain blog says:

    Lovely photograph of the picnic tree with spring light. Thank you 😊

  2. jkaybay says:

    What a beautiful photo (spring light) – I love the tree and the long shadows. Would make a great subject for an oil painting.

  3. Sherry G says:

    Love seeing spring in your neck of the woods and all that beauty! Wonderful,reminder of our visit. We actually have some apple and plum trees starting to bloom here! Quel surprise!

  4. Thanks, Sharron! If only I could photograph all that birdsong….

  5. Fred Bailey says:

    COASTAL SPRING…How I miss it!!!

  6. Taking Time Photography says:

    Gorgeous and a great spring representation!!! 😀

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