Sunday, May 10, 2009

Paris Heralds of Spring

This is totally off-topic, but it was a dreadfully long and grey winter in Paris since November 2008 and so I need to chronicle the arriving of Printemps (not the department store but Springtime). Will try to replace istock with my own photos over the years.

First, the fall, which is sometimes nice and long and rich. (my photo of Bois de Vincennes)
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Skipping right along, Hyacinths are the first sign, given to friends to remind them winter will end in January-February.
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Next, the first trees to bloom are the Ornamental Plums or Cherries planted all around Paris, which fall and cover the ground with a layer of a pretty pink snow of  blossoms. This is in March or April, depending on the temperature that year. (my photo)

Then tulips go into all the parks in colors for Easter.

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End of April people stand on the corners and sell bouquets of Lilacs, and some areas are filled with the fragrance from gardens of them.  Isn't it great how  Lilacs make the perfect bouquet just sitting in any vase?
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(my photo of a garden in Bures-sur-Yvette south of Paris in April, 2009)

Something so ephemeral it can't be captured are the tiny papery blossoms from the tall trees shading the streets of Avenue d'Italie and Avenue de Choisy in the Chinese Quarter of the 13th. In a spring wind on a day with sunshine, these fall like translucent pieces of gold and swirl along the sidewalks, visualizing the dance of the spring breezes.
Wisteria comes along with the Lilacs, there is an apartment building near me that is a riot of color with all of the possibilities on display. (This isn't it, maybe next year..)
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Suddenly the trees dress themselves.  Paris has chosen a purple-flowering tree that comes into bloom after the Lilacs to plant around many of the city halls.
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After this, it is a free-for-all.

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Place d'Italie, Paris

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