Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Buckeye Tree

Just outside our screened in porch on the creek side of the house grows a bottle brush buckeye tree. It has been there for many years and despite being cut to the ground numerous times it returns to its current height of fifteen or twenty feet. I suppose it really is not a tree but more of a large shrub, very large. It is way too close to the house but seems very happy where it is. It blooms every year in the middle of July with hundreds of eighteen inch tall pale yellow inflorescences that produce an intoxicating fragrance. The base of each bloom is four or more inches in diameter and tapers to a point. At dusk or on a moonlit night the buckeye tree and blooms look like a great hovering, shimmering ghost floating just above the landscape. A cacophony of noise comes from the tree caused by hummingbirds, bees, wasp, many flying insects and birds, who are there like shoppers at the local Wal-Mart on a Saturday night. The tree makes a noticeable sound most of the day with hums, buzzes, clicks and other small noises. The many buckeye visitors are there after the nectar produced by the blooms and some after the creatures dining on the nectar. There are bats circling the crown of the tree picking off the careless moth and other random night flying insects after dark. The tree creates a microcosmic habitat filled with small beings with all sorts of things going on, eating, drinking, mating, killing and all manner of other things hidden, on it's surface as well as within the tree's interior. I love that tree.  

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