Thursday, May 31, 2007

Apple Tree with a View

"Apple Tree with a View" 9x12, pastel, en plein air
(click for larger image)

If winter begins late, often spring does, too. For a painter, a late spring can be a trying time.

When the last snow finally melted, the robins, who had been lurking about most of the winter, came out in droves. The grass suddenly sprang up green. The first, tentative catkins appeared on the alders, followed by the red maple flowers. Waterfowl we hadn't seen in a year suddenly dropped anchor in our bay, filling every dawn with their squawks and pipings. And the apple trees finally showed a few green leaves.

Old-timers here say that when the apple trees bloom, the Island is at its prettiest. I really wanted to paint them at their fullest. The grass grew taller, and the fellow who mows our dooryard said he'd be firing up his tractor soon. Still no blossoms. The weather warmed, and fiddleheads popped up. The daffodils came and went. Raspberry canes thickened with the green of uncountable tiny leaves. Still no blossoms, and the leaves of the apple trees swelled, unfurled and cloaked the limbs. I began to despair that the trees would not bloom at all.

But then the right day came, and our rambling orchard of hundred-year-old apple trees exploded into white.

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