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Pretty in Stink

March 17, 2007

Well, Spring time is here… the Bradford Pear trees are blooming.  Many of you live in Florida, so you don’t get to experience these beautiful trees, but they’re pretty common throughout the rest of the U.S. (excluding other really hot/humid climates). What I find interesting about these trees is that they only bloom for a few weeks. It seems like overnight they go from being completely bare, to completely pure white – they look like they’ve had a full snow cover them. But if you blink, you’ll miss ’em. They’re already turning green. Right now they’re a perfect balance of green and white, which makes them seem a little blurry during the dusk and dawn hours. Soon they will be completely green and stay that way until fall, when they will turn a beautiful deep red before the leaves fall off. The pears that these blooms produce are only about an inch in diameter, which is why it is less a fruit tree than an ornamental tree.


The most interesting fact about this beautiful tree, though, is the fragrance it omits during its short blooming period. You would think that something this lovely would have an equally lovely smell…. that is not the case. If I had to compare the smell to something familiar, one word comes to mind – fish. Yes, this remarkable tree is easy on the eyes and hard on the nose. In fact, the Bradford Pear tree lines many of the neighborhood streets in Birmingham, but because of its smell, there are a number of community campaigns to have these trees removed. Personally, I think this is a little silly. Yes, they stink, but its only for a short, short period of time, and its beauty makes up for it.

It’s a good reminder that life can be bittersweet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. John Super permalink
    March 22, 2007 2:26 am

    a good, bittersweet, reminder.

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