Spring is a wonderful time here in Branson, Missouri and all of the Ozarks for that matter. Sure the temperatures go up and down like a yoyo but it does that everywhere above the Mason Dixon Line. The Tulips and Daffidills started blooming a month before Easter. By the beginning of April or even the last couple weeks of March the flowering trees or shrubs start to bud out.
First comes the Bradford Pair. They do grow wild but most of them are planted by landscape folks or home owners. You see them by the hundreds in yards and along streets. In the parking lot between the Oak Ridge Boys theater and Yakov theaters are a couple of huge parking lots with grass areas between the rows of parking spaces and Bradford Pair trees are planted all along these grassy dividers. My wife Marilyn took some pictures that I hope to get entered into this computer and hope they find their way into this page because they are beautiful trees just covered with white blossoms.
By the time the Bradford Pair start winding down the Red Buds start to come out. These are mostly in the wooded areas and they are smaller trees about 20 feet tall. They get flaming red blossoms all along their branches and my wife put a picture of them as the screen savor on her cell phone.
While the Red Buds are blooming you see lots and lots of low shrubs with white flowers on them and they are called Service Berry bushes. These are small white flowers and these clumps of bushes grow into large bunches about 50 or more feet across. You will see huge patches of these Service Berry bushes usually in slightly cleared areas like yards or pastures.
Next comes the Dog Wood trees blossoming out. They get four petal White or Pink blossoms with a dark center spot. It looks to me that the wild Dog Wood have white blossoms and the pink ones are from nurseries. I can see many of these beautiful trees in the woods around our house from my office window. She put a picture of the White Dog Wood flowers on the screen saver of my cell phone. Now we can tell them apart well hers is red and mine is silver so that also helps Ha Ha. There is even a road that runs through so many of them they named it Dog Wood Canyon. These trees grow everywhere in the the wild here in the Ozark Mountain Country. There is a biblical story that goes along with the Dog Wood blossoms hang on and I'll see if my wife can remember the story. I first read the story out at Silver Dollar City where they were blooming by an old log church that they have restored. Ok Today is Easter Sunday so this story is really timely.
An old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it: "Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross -- two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints -- brown with rust and stained with red -- and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember."