Between chilly showers on a Sunday afternoon, we spied this lovely tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, with blossoms just beginning to open, so we pulled over to capture the nascent inflorescence for our friends at Hoot Owl Karma.
Much to our delight, a small colony of pink bristly locust, Robinia hispida, or perhaps a closely related cousin, had set up camp in a bit of a clearing just across the stream from our massive tulip poplar, so we slipped over and paid them a brief visit.
Skipper larvae nibbled on the crisp green leaves,
while delicate pea-like blossoms danced cheek to rosy cheek with their partners,
swaying rhythmically as they dangled from bristly stems,
blushing under a gentle rain of kisses from above.
Later, the clouds parted,
just before dusk,
drenching these tulip tree blossoms in the golden light of the setting sun,
illumining the pastels of the petals and their diaphanous, still-unfurling edges
like little faerie lanterns,
or a host of living ornaments,
illuminated by the spirit of the tree itself,
celebrating two score such flower-filled springs,
and craving four score more...