Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A propitious beginning for summer

The backyard of the apartment where I dwell is dominated all summer by a pleasant little bush that produces hundreds of yellow flowers from the first warm days until the last ones.

Succeeding generations of flowers attract bees and butterflies each lazy summer afternoon for at least three months running.

During the bitter Eastern Washington winter, this brave and uncomplaining little woody plant defies all cold with a certainty that it will be reborn again when soil and air temperatures reach a minimal level in the spring.

Today, June 1, 2011, my cheery bush produced its first four flowers of the 2011 season. Within days now, I can expect the shrub to be covered with five-petaled yellow flowers. Again, they will continue until the days begin to grow short and cold in late September, perhaps.

Being a determined researcher, I am pouring over taxonomic descriptions to learn the botanical name of the plant. I will certainly post that designation here when found.

Until such time, I will simply call the bush my "sunshine flower".

This, because I know the plant will lend a sense of warmth and gentle peace to my life each afternoon as I sit in my backyard listening to bird calls and other comforting sounds of the natural world.

D. Grant Haynes

P.S. -- I have learned from an area nursery that my sunshine flower is a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa).

P.P.S. -- And 11 days later (June 12), four blooms have been transformed into at least a hundred on the shrubby cinguefoil! Such is the beauty and wonder of the natural world and of spring. -- DGH