To capture April in Alabama I’m venturing beyond my garden. I took these snapshots during a recent neighborhood walk in Birmingham.
When oak trees first leaf out, their young green leaves shine in the sun as if golden. It always makes me think of Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which begins “Nature’s first green is gold.” I love the sight of a huge oak five times the size of the house it grows beside.
The wildflowers (or weeds, if you rather) are out.
The flattering name of this plant is, wait for it, Philadelphia fleabane. I saw this member of the daisy family today blooming along nonresidential roadsides and in natural areas. It may look a little weedy, but it’s native to North America. (In Europe and Asia, where it has been introduced, it’s considered invasive.)
A friend once told me dogwood trees should look like clouds in the landscape.
I have to agree. This dogwood in bloom looks exactly like a cirrus cloud floating in the sky.
Japanese maples offer vibrant color at a time of year when most everything is green, white or pastel.
I recently wrote about my Shaina Japanese maple, which is a dwarf variety. On today’s walk I encountered medium and large varieties.
Magnolias bloom in the summer, but their dark, glossy leaves and massive trunks are beautiful all year.
The low-hanging branches of the magnolia below are so inviting. I will be sure to revisit this tree in the summertime when it is in bloom.
I believe I encountered an azalea that is native to Alabama!
If my ID is correct, this azalea is a pinkster flower (Rhododendron periclymenoides). If I get another ID from the iNaturalist community, I will update this post. I spotted this small shrub growing wedged in a tall, groomed evergreen hedge. It seemed out of place in the best way possible.
The topography of Birmingham can vary fairly dramatically within a small radius.
My neighborhood is all steep hills. The area I walked today (the adjacent neighborhood) is flat and carved with natural creeks and urban waterways.
Thanks for visiting. I’d love to see what spring looks like in your neighborhood, wherever that may be.