The beauty and scent of magnolias

Magnolia blossoms 9374_StaatsWith the warmth of the sun, our magnolia tree burst into bloom this past week.  The delicate white petals broke from the catkins that had kept them safe throughout the winter.  I spent a delightful evening photographing amongst the blossoms.  Not only was it a feast for my eyes, but I was treated to the wonderful sweet smell that they give off.  A slight breeze would stir and my senses were filled with the light aroma and the brightness of white surrounding me.  Perhaps what makes the magnolias so special to me is the brevity with which they are in full bloom.  As the week has passed, the wind and rain have already tossed many of the blossoms to the ground, and those that remain are no longer at their peak.  Soon the flowers will all be gone and the tree will be covered in green leaves.

Morning magnolias

Last week saw the end of winter with ice-out on our Minnesota lakes.  This week we plunged head-first into almost-summer (oops – where was spring?) with green grass nurtured by light rains and warm sunshine.  The birds have been singing early in the mornings and there are daffodils and crocus showing off their colors amidst all the burgeoning green. 
Last month I posted a photo of the magnolia tree that is outside our front window.  At the time the tree had buds and looked rather gangly.  She has now come into her prime, graced with large white blossoms, hiding the softest of pinks near the blossom base.  It is a joy to see the white petals shimmer in the early morning mist, and then turn almost translucent as the sun reflects off them later in the day.  It is one of the short-lived joys of spring that graces our transitioning landscape prior to the arrival of summer.