Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nose to the ground

I ran into a yellow lab and his human on the trail at Red Haw yesterday afternoon, dog with nose to the ground and attentive to his surroundings, sniffing out this or that, human more attentive to the pink redbud mist that has settled over the woods a month early --- the bigger picture.

There's something to be said for the dog's approach, however, if you're interested the more subtle side of what's-up-in-the-woods,  likely to be slighted this year when everything seems determined to burst into bloom at once.

These snapshots were taken after I'd climbed off the trail --- and embedded myself in a bramble patch while focused on the ground rather than oh where I was going. But much of this can be spotted alongside the trails, too, and more will become evident shortly, providing you can divert your attention from the redbud show and remember to look down rather than up.

Speaking of that pink mist, and you'll have to look elsewhere for photos of that today, there's a story of redbud intrigue, fear and loathing down in Oklahoma, where passion for pink led to its elevation as state tree back in the 1930s.

It started when Mrs. Mamie Lee Robinson Browne, president of the Oklahoma City Federation of Women's Clubs and a huge redbud fan, managed to get a bill declaring it the state tree through the Legislature in early 1937.

Gov. E.W. Marland was about to sign the bill into law when Mrs. Edward Campbell Lawson of Tulsa, president of the National Federation of Women's Clubs and not a redbud fan, fired off a telegram to the governor in an attempt to derail the measure. 

In it, she alleged that the redbud actually was far more sinister that it appearaed to be; that it was in fact Cercis siliquastrum, or the "Judas Tree," upon which Judas Iscariot had hanged himself in the distant past.

Well, statewide controversy raged. But John Y. Iskian, an Oklahoma City resident native to Jerusalem, resolved the dispute by confirming Mamie Lee's contention that there was no connection between Oklahoma's redbud and the holy land's Judas Tree.

The bill was duly signed during March 1937, Oklahoma continues to celebrate the redbud and Mrs. Campbell Lawson, bless her heart, retreated to her Tulsa garden to pull weeds. Hopefully, no one has planted a redbud on her grave.

1 comment:

mac said...

Hello from Summit Point, West Virginia.
I was trying to identify a group of cormorants I spotted on the Shenandoah River this past weekend and your blog popped up in a google image search.

lurked around for the flowers and the history.