On my recent jaunts through the neighborhood, I can’t help but notice something new and different on many of the trees. There are odd new appendages that don’t look like bark, branches or buds … nor are they bugs or grubs or birds … hmm, what are they then?
Those “appendages” are white ribbons, part of the white-ribbon campaign to support our healthcare workers and first responders during this COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve seen curling ribbon adorning tiny tree branches, to huge bows with wide ribbon encircling large tree trunks, especially all along Pagel Avenue. There are no white ribbons or bows on my street and I am similarly at fault. I had no ribbons or bows at hand, so I have to honor these folks in spirit only.
The tying of a ribbon around a tree or post is certainly no new concept, and, if I might reach back in time once again, like I did earlier this week for the first Earth Day in 1970, I remember well when Tony Orlando and Dawn’s song first hit the music charts. In fact, this was the #1 song in the U.S. and U.K. in this month of April 1973.
I still know the words to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” and I’ll bet you do too (if you’re a certain age that is). The first few notes make it easily identifiable, and, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this tune through the years, I’d be a rich woman.
In a world now consumed by worry about the Coronavirus, many remember how yellow ribbons gave props to military personnel through the years. On Memorial Day weekend 2014, I did a post about a military family that kept their faith strong by adorning a tree and pillar with yellow ribbons. A sign out front and a service flag displayed in the window identified them as a family with a loved one in harm’s way.
This is similar to how the white ribbons look now – perhaps you have some in your neighborhood?
Spring continues to load slowly …
We’ve had a spate of ugly weather the last ten days or so … excessive wind, relentless rain and sleet. Tuesday morning, graupel had me in its grips when a suddenly bright and sunny sky saw a dark gray cloud move in and the pellets were soon a’flyin’ and pinging off my clothes, toes, nose – you name it. I had chosen to drive to the Park that day to give the car a small run. By the time I reached my car at the other end of the parking lot, pellets were deep into the window well and swirling around the ground. My glasses were fogged up from the face mask and, as I sat in the car while waiting for them to clear, I felt like you do when going through the car wash, only awash in tiny ice balls instead of water. Yikes! By the time I got home, just a mere mile away, the sun was still out, the pavement was bone dry – what just happened here?
The wind has wreaked havoc with the ornamental trees in the ‘hood, those beauties, whose blossoms spill over from weeping branches in a frothy haze in many shades of white or pretty pinks. This is a Weeping Cherry tree that I’ve admired for years and one of a few photos I’ve taken of it in the past.
The homeowner usually has planted cold-weather pansies around his beautifully landscaped front yard by now, but all our garden centers remain closed, at least until the end of the month, due to an Order from the Governor and much to the chagrin of most local gardeners.
This tree pictured below is an “early bloomer” as well and often full of singing Starlings as I round the last bend on Pagel Avenue, enroute to Council Point Park.
In recent treks through the ‘hood I’ve seen these ornamental trees assaulted by wicked winds, pelting sleet or graupel and to top it off, we had a hard freeze early Wednesday morning. A few homeowners had put a protective covering over their ornamental trees to keep them looking good. Thankfully, it’s a bit early for the magnolia trees to bloom or else their petals would be similarly scattered to the wind. They are just in bud now.
I had to chuckle to myself when the weatherman quipped that “Mother Nature is in a March state of mind.” The weather, like everything else, continues to boggle our minds. Stay safe.
[The tree hugger is courtesy of Pinterest; it is not a selfie of Yours Truly]