Monday, February 15, 2010
Springtime Comes to 2nd (and 1st, too)!
Last week, during some aimless wandering around the neighborhood, I spotted a lone tree in bloom along 1st Ave. It was really nice to see. It was also an odd sight for February. Usually, things are really grim this month. The gloom is near-constant and people with SAD barricade themselves in their apartments and refuse to come out till spring. Well, here's a sign that spring is just around the corner: the plum and plum hybrids along 1st & 2nd Aves. are beginning to bloom. That single tree has inspired a host of others. This is a unique happening to 1st & 2nd; 3rd Avenue's trees are mostly those awful skeletal honey locusts that get their leaves late and lose them early, 4th & 5th's majestic oaks, maples and plane trees are still months away from foliage and 6th Avenue...well, there's just not much to see.
I'm still not sure what's going on with these trees, whether it truly is a byproduct of warm El Nino temperatures or climate change or whatnot. My friend Jim says that the purple-leaf plum and the plum-apricot hybrids bloom early, but I've never seen them pop in February. So yes, this is kind of a cool thing - and it's happening in terrible Belltown. Here are some pictures from along 1st Avenue:
This is what 2nd Ave. looks like:
So that's how things are looking around here. Pretty soon the lovely pear trees are also going to bloom. This is how most of them are looking now:
Once again, it's really unusual for this to be happening so early. Last year, most of these trees didn't bloom until May.
You know, the last few winters have seemed to last for an eternity. I think it's about time we got an early spring. Then again, what with Seattle weather being what it is, we may well get snow, freezing temperatures and general gloom well into April. But I'd like to think that the trees know best about how things are going to go down.