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You know personal ceremonies or festivals, things you end up celebrating, year after year, just as an individual (or maybe, say, as a group of friends, or a family)--in other words, something that's not a broader cultural thing?

One of mine is the blossoming of the catalpa. SUCH A GLORIOUS TREE, with blossoms that look like they belong in tropical garlands (well, they are a bit pale, but so **fancy**), that rain down onto the street.

Here is the tree--can you see it is twice as tall as the rooming house it towers over?

catalpa in bloom

And here are the blossoms, fallen on the street and grass

fallen catalpa blossoms catalpa blossom glowing on road

The blossoms wear different colors of makeup to attract the bees. Some like a red-purple, like the one over on the lower left:

catalpa blossom, purple-red accent

Some go for golden-orange highlights:

catalpa blossom, yellow accent

And every year, I string them on long strands of grass and hang them up somewhere in the house.

catalpa threaded on grass

Happy catalpas, everyone!



( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 27th, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's a great event to celebrate.
Jun. 27th, 2014 02:59 pm (UTC)
I enjoy it every year!
Jun. 27th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
They look like baby orchids; how beautiful!

Happy Catalpas!
Jun. 27th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Jun. 27th, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
No; the catalpa leaves are big, but not that big. That's a burdock leaf.
Jun. 27th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
It's good to see someone loving catalpa trees for their beauty and goodness. When I was a little girl, my parents' only parking space was under a catalpa tree, so every time it flowered, sap and aphids and aphid droppings covered the car and made it sticky for weeks. I learned to think of catalpa trees as these giant producers of messiness, and nothing else. But they are beautiful, aren't they?
Jun. 27th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
They are! (But I would not want to clear the sap off my car, either…)
Jun. 27th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
*basks in the beauty of the catalpas and your posts*
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
*shines fragrant blossoms down on you*
Jun. 27th, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
Happy catalpas day!
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
blossoms for everyone!
Jun. 27th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
What astonishingly beautiful flowers! They kind of remind me of the orchids a few of the neighbors having growing in pots around here.
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's like a whole tree that blooms in orchids!
Jun. 27th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
Nature's Beauty
Beauty - All from a tree. My celebration is the autumnal colors - a few months from now. Yes, I will post pictures as well.
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Nature's Beauty
I will look forward to those beautiful photos!
Jun. 27th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
A friend and I were out walking last week and saw all those beautiful flowers strewn around and wondered what they were - thanks for the ID!

Do the flowers dry well on the grass and keep?
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!

They dry a deep red-purple color but all crinkled up. They keep an echo of their fragrance, but they're not beautiful in the way that dried roses are. I've saved last year's, but eventually I'll discard them. I wonder if I tried preserving the blossoms in oil, whether the fragrance would transfer….
Jun. 28th, 2014 03:21 am (UTC)
Is it customary in your neck of the woods to call the long seed pods "cigars"?
Jun. 28th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
You know, I never hear anyone talking about catalpas except me! And although this area is full of them, and although I grew up only two hours west, I never really noticed/saw them as a kid, which is when I expect I would have heard that name. So, short answer: no. But I really like it. What magnificent long cigars they do make.
Jun. 28th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
How do you string them on the long grass? They're lovely.
Jun. 28th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
They have a tiny hole at their top--where they were attached to their flower cluster on the tree--and I poke the grass stem through that, and then just stack one on top of the next.
Jun. 29th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
I can picture a whole Catalpa Day where you invite friends over for a picnic and offer them leis or crowns made of catalpa blossoms to wear while you dine and play and chat.
Jun. 29th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
I really have to *do* that next year. That would be so fun.

ETA: In fact, I'm going to mark it on my calendar so I don't forget!

Edited at 2014-06-29 10:55 pm (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2014 07:54 am (UTC)
That is a great idea. I can't wait for Catalpa Day pictures and résumé!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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