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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Black Cottonwood

Populus trichocarpa

There is a beautiful cottonwood tree growing beside the path where I walk almost every day. Yesterday I smelled its lovely fragrance for the first time this year - it smells of Spring! It's always this way when its shiny new leaves begin to emerge, and I love to walk by it just to have its wonderful scent to take with me through my day.

The cottonwood is considered a sacred tree by many Native North Americans and is the Lakota sun dance tree. A limb cut crosswise reveals a five-pointed star in the cross section, the "Morning Star".

Sheltering canopy
with dangling catkins;
some have fallen to the ground
in the spring breezes.
New green leaves push forth.

Sturdy limb

Long, pointed folded leaf
atop a grooved branch

Sweet-smelling resin
permeates the air

Young Cottonwood
growing with
several other off shoots
close to the parent tree.

Close-up of the leaf bud
and beautiful stalk