nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Acer rubrum

maple blossoms

with 14 comments

This week, as Red Maple (Acer rubrum) flowers bloom, the woodland blushes scarlet.  In the driveway, a tree-shadow of blossoms has begun to form, as the flower clusters reach their peak and then drop to the ground.

Each flower is a puff of reddish-pink bracts surrounding the male and female flower parts.  The stamens (the male part of the flower) consist of a thin filament topped by a dark anther where the pollen is formed.  The pistil (the female part) is made of a style topped by a stigma; once fertilised by pollen, the maple seeds will form here.  Red maple flowers may have both stamens and pistils, or may be only male or only female.  The flower looks like a tiny fireworks, the burst-effect created by a bundle of stamens or stigmas.

When I went to Dalhousie University in Halifax, I always loved the flowering of the Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) in spring.  Their flowers are green and most people mistake them for new leaves.  I used to wonder what the ecosystem consequences might be if the flowers were bright orange or purple instead of green.

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red maple blossoms

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across brown sky

strontium bursts of bright

sparks bloom

against dark

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©  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

April 23, 2012 at 6:42 am

under the red maple

with 7 comments

We have a huge red maple (Acer rubrum L.) in front of our house.  It forces a turn in the walkway, but I love to greet it every morning and watch it through the seasons.  When we first lived here 30 years ago, the tree was small enough to encircle with thumb and finger.  Now I can’t fit my arms around its girth.

Autumn inspires this tree.  It takes its time, gradually turning yellow, red and orange over several days.  Then it gives up all its leaves within a day. 

When I drive my car away the next morning, a dark rectangle of driveway remains, within the circle of new-fallen leaves.

 

summer in flames

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suddenly

leaf fall

embers settle

on the walkway

patio table and chairs

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suddenly

impossible

to walk in silence

red flames

and careful steps

a conflagration

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suddenly

shadows lost

and branches

scratch the sky

sun bright

hands warm before the fire

~

© Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

October 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

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