The magnolias are blooming. Until the flowers began to open, in front of my workplace, I had no idea that they were magnolias. But even if they aren’t a Southern magnolia, and I have no idea what kind they are, they ARE magnolias. The glossiness of the leaves, shape and feel to the petals, and the smell… you can tell. If anyone knows what type they are, though, feel free to tell me.
My co-workers didn’t know what to think of me, wandering around the courtyard at 7:35 am, before heading inside to work. One of them wanted to know why I didn’t take pictures of the birds that nest in the umbrellas, and I said it’s because birds don’t hold still for pictures.
After work, I went out into the afternoon sunshine, and tried again. We’d had a recent rain, so some of the flowers had taken a beating, and some buds weren’t yet open. So, I kept searching for some blossoms that were just newly opened, and not above my head. When they’re too high for me to look at, they might as well not be there.
I had to work on some of these photos, because the morning ones weren’t bright enough, and some of the afternoon photos were TOO bright. I planned to do it again, another day, so I’ll share those with you, later.
Knowing that my usual walk to work led past a row of magnolia trees, I walked down by Hunter Hall to take a look. Well, it used to be my usual walk, but now that I start early in the morning, I can park right out front of the cafe. And even if I’m forgetful, and want to park behind Hunter and Sirrine, I can’t, because they’re repaving the parking lot.
Behind Hunter, I was surprised to find that most of the magnolia flowers were not in bloom yet. It’s a pretty shady area, between the building and a lot of trees, so it really shouldn’t have surprised me. So, I wandering under the branches, looking straight up, trying to find any low-hanging magnolia flowers that had beaten the odds, and already bloomed. I found one, and had to jump to reach it. I really think if any grad students looked out the window, about that time of day, they’d be amused by my antics.
After that one, I gave up on finding any in the shady area. It was tempting to climb the tree, looking for blooms, but any idiot knows that you won’t find them close to the trunk. And climbing out onto a flimsy branch is not part of my game plan. : )
Walking through the mulch, and occasionally through knee-deep decorative grass, I finally found some blooms that were out in the sunshine. Some were way past their bloom date, while others were impersonating volleyballs, and not yet open. But I was fascinated by the inside of the flower, because I can finally see how they eventually turn into the seed pods, after the petals are long gone.
When I say behind Hunter, I suppose my definition of “behind” differs from others. I think of the parking lot side as the back, and the side that faces Fernow as the front, but some people that work in Hunter think of it in the reverse. Let’s just say on the magnolia side, shall we?
Eventually, I wandered behind the auditorium building of Hunter, and found a couple more magnolias, next to the big grassy lawn. Ok, that’s really why I think that’s the front. That “lawn” is there so you can get a view of the building and the trees, not because it’s their back yard. Anyway, I did lots more wading through monkey-grass (or whatever it is), and some weeds, trying to reach the blossoms that were near the ground.
I’ve been back to magnolias at work and the Hunter magnolias, again, and plan to keep checking on the Hunter locale. So, stay tuned for more pictures from my second visit. And on the shady side of Hunter, there are LOTS of magnolias that need a little more time to reach their “due date”. My camera and I are waiting for them.