Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Until today, the weather's been holding me back from a decent shooting session.

Yesterday I photographed Catalpa flower buds from a little tree growing on the yard's edge to the swamp. Already today the buds popped open.

From With the Trees:

"The catalpa blooms at about the same time as the mountain maple. This tree may be readily known, even in winter, by the long, slender pods dangling from the tips of the stout and somewhat clumsy branches. When youth was less guileful than it is now, and the deleterious cigarette was not so plentiful and cheap, these were furtively smoked by small boys, and the tree which bore them was called "smoking bean."

Long after the boughs of other trees are half hidden by the fluttering and shimmer of young leaves, the catalpa looks as if its days were done, but when it at last puts forth, its semi- tropical beauty compensates for its tardiness.

The large heart-shaped leaves are full grown by time the flowers appear.

Like the linden leaves they secrete nectar; it oozes out of groups of tiny glands, situated at the angles where the large side veins part from the mid-rib."

Going, Maud. With the Trees. New York, 1908. 232. Web. Google Book Search. 29 Jun 2009.


  1. I knew this tree to be called the cigar or cigarette tree- but it never occurred to me that anybody would actually smoke the bean pods!! What always amazes me about this tree is the heady sometimes overpowering sweet scent that can be detected even while driving by in a car!
    We just planted a small shad tree in our front garden over the weekend-yesterday it was filled with cedar waxwings!! I was in heaven!

  2. I was so lucky to get these shots. Most of the Catalpas here were dropping blossoms last week--well, either dropping or getting them blasted off in all the torrential downpours. These blossoms from a little shaded tree were late bloomers.

    Waxwings? Woohoo! Finally they arrive for you! :-)