Ancient flowering cherry tree

Picture a leafless tree, shaped like a grand old weeping willow, trailing its long, slender branches.  Next, picture white cherry blossoms all up and down the branches, and a light breeze wafting through it like a tranparent veil.  

This dreamy tree is a white weeping cherry, the largest known in Washington state.  It has been showing off for around a century by a brook on the Whitman College campus in Walla Walla.

This year (2011) the early flowering trees in the Walla Walla Valley were hit by late freezes, so only a few of the cherries are putting on their usual show.  However, a few years ago I made a special trip over from Idaho to photograph this tree.  A friend kept me posted on its progress and got me here right at the peak of bloom.  These photos are from that trip.  

Freezing temperatures were predicted for that morning, so I got to the tree early.  Thankfully, it wasn’t touched by frost.

The blossoms are pure white.  The pink blush is the reflected sunrise or sun shining through the haze.  (Couldn’t be that I hadn’t set the camera correctly, could it?)

True pink flowering cherries also abound in the WW valley, like this beauty reflected  in a pond in Pioneer Park. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Smiles  🙂

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