Saturday, February 03, 2018

The cherry trees at NW 19th & Lovejoy (2018)

One of the ongoing traditions here at this humble blog involves a January visit to the corner of NW 19th & Lovejoy, in NW Portland, where a pair of cherry trees bloom ridiculously early every year. The weather's usually terrible, and virtually every other flowering plant is at least a month out from doing anything, but these two trees bloom like this every January. I'm not a huge fan of winter, so every year I go back to see this first hint of springtime. The most convincing (if mundane) theory I've heard is that they're a winter-blooming variety (which is something that exists) and this is perfectly normal tree behavior as far as they're concerned. It doesn't explain the maple trees down the block that haven't quite lost their leaves yet, but I'm willing to believe there's also an odd variety of maple tree out there. One that sneers at our puny Northwest winters and thinks this all just an endless New England October. It could be that all the trees along this block of 19th were all planted decades ago by someone who couldn't stand the sight of bare trees in winter, such that spring arrives on the south end while autumn still lingers on the north. It could be, in other words, that sufficiently advanced botany is indistinguishable from magic.

If you follow the first link above, it goes to past years' posts from the same location and time of year. The earliest one's dated 2010, but the 2012 post insists I'd been doing this for at least four years already, which I guess would make this the tenth anniversary, if only I had some idea why I'd said that. I don't seem to have posted anything here about the place in 2008 or 2009, or even uploaded any Flickr photos from there. I suppose I could have gone & visited them without taking any photos, though that really isn't my way, now or back then. Still, I must have had some reason to believe I'd been doing this for a while already; it's just that I can't recall what it is just now. So I'm going to claim those first two years as semi-apocryphal visits and call this the tenth anniversary, even though I also skipped a few years here and there in the middle. Hey, blogging isn't an exact science, ok?

I didn't do a post last year, for one thing, though I did go and take a few photos. The first blooms last year came right after a huge snow and ice storm. Heavy ice had broken a number of limbs off the trees, and the trees were marked off with caution tape. The blooms also came just days after the inauguration of old whatsisname, who I won't name since I'd rather not attract his followers here. That was kind of a traumatic event, and I just didn't have the heart to post photos of broken trees under those conditions. It could have worked as a good (if heavy-handed) metaphor for the times, but I simply couldn't bring myself to do it, so I didn't. I feel like that's a reasonable extenuating circumstance, and one I hope to never repeat, if at all possible. In any case, they're on Flickr here; I changed them from private in case anyone's curious.

The 2014 and 2015 editions went straight to Instagram, in an attempt to stay hip & current with all the cool-kid apps and whatnot. There hasn't been an interesting (to me) new cool-kid social media app in the last couple of years, so I guess I'm back here for the time being.

You might notice that the photos are a bit more bloomed-out than previous years. I ended up making three trips this time; the first two were cut short due to having to run for a streetcar. Everyone knows there's never a streetcar around when you need one, and it turns out that if you think you'll want a streetcar ten minutes from now, it will come almost immediately and you'll have to run for it. It's uncanny. Anyway, I went back until I got photos I liked, because tradition, and the photoset leads with those. The earlier so-so ones are toward the end of the photoset in case anyone really insists on seeing the very first ones. I dunno, it's possible someone might, so they're here just in case.