Now the fleeting touch of spring sets bouquets of blossoms all across the countryside - now bloom the flowering trees which are part of the prairie springtime. It is they which carry bloom aloft, lift it from the. ground where the violets and bluebells and buttercups grow, and fling color, light, and perfume against a sun-and-showers sky. They are the intangible spirit of springtime made tangible, translated in terms of thousands of flowers set upon the thousand twigs of shadbush, redbud, dogwood, haw, and crab.
Amelanchier arborea ( Michx.) Fern.
April. Wooded, rocky hills.
From afar they are unreal and misty, as if a wind might puff them away. They accent the hills and ornament the woodlands, give the meagerest roadside and most barren slope the fairy-tale glamor of a light-opera setting.
In early spring when all about there is only the grey and brown of the sleeping winter woods, the sudden foam-white of the shadbush-bloom comes dramatically to put an end to winter. Shadbush is a. slender, graceful, airy little tree with grey bark and long thin twigs. On the twig-tips the buds open before the leaves have more than begun to expand in grey and pink silk in the sunshine, and soon there are large thimbles of white flowers all over the shad trees. A member of the Rose family, the flowers are five petaled and are followed by tiny, long-stemmed, miniature, apples. These are the shadberries which are so well liked by robins that few fruits are gathered by human beings. But when they are - service berry pies are the delectable result.