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Spring Oak Haiku

May 21, 2013


The oak tree stands
noble on the hill even in
cherry blossom time

Matsuo Basho, 1644-94


The cultivated cherries finished blossoming a week or two ago now. Nevertheless, the countryside is decked in white: the geans or wild cherry are in full bloom at last. Oak and ash have come into leaf together, signifying who knows what for the weather this summer. 



(Last year the oak came into leaf at the beginning of the month, while the geans blossomed unusually early, in April: normally I think of gean as the May tree.)

You might also enjoy What colour is your May? which is about cherry blossom but also about a medieval chapel, bagpiping, and the family’s other castle.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2013 9:56 pm

    Gorgeous photos, DB. We have no oak near us for immediate comparison, but our ash is only now starting to come into leaf. After last summer I’m making no predictions of any kind…. 😉

    • May 21, 2013 11:22 pm

      I think that’s very wise, Perpetua! Any ray of sunshine feels like a bonus after last summer, but we’ll just have to see what comes.

  2. Liz Davey permalink
    May 22, 2013 9:45 am

    Our oaks and ash are coming into leaf simultaneously too (for a while I thought the ash would win) and I too wondered what that might portend! Apparently oak is temperature sensitive and ash might be sunshine sensitive, not that you’d notice either here! More than ever this year I have noticed that the trees have loads of flowers, particularly the oaks and also a sycamore that hangs over my garden fence (I’ve never noticed the flowers on this before). Perhaps the cold weather was worth it just for this wonderful display.

    • June 5, 2013 12:25 am

      Oh, that’s interesting. I must admit I haven’t noticed the trees’ flowers, except for the beech.

  3. May 22, 2013 4:33 pm

    Lovely haiku and beautiful photos – I love the second one, looking through the woodlands with all the fresh spring leaves. You can almost smell the spring air! Let’s hope this summer is a good one, no extremes, just sensible weather. Please! 🙂

  4. June 4, 2013 1:26 pm

    A Basho haiku … – and a beautiful picture to go with it. Thank you!

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