Spot that Plant: As Maples Bloom


The maple trees are in full flower in Toronto, lighting up the surroundings with their sunny blooms. Individually, these flowers are small, barely even covering the palm of my 3 year-old daughter's hand. Collectively, they shroud each maple tree in a cloud of golden yellow and can be extremely striking from a distance. These flowers mature into maple "keys" which soar easily when the winds blow them helter-skelter, and are great fun for kids as they fling these "helicopters" and watch them spin through the air. Probably not as much fun for an ardent gardener as these keys take root very easily wherever they land!


I really liked the Rainer Maria Rilke quote that I used in the second picture, and tried to find the poem where it was supposed to have been taken. After scouring the Internet, I discovered that he never actually wrote those exact lines! The closest version I could find was a translation by Robert Temple of the following stanza from "The Sonnets to Orpheus":
Spring has come again.
The Earth is like a child that has learned to recite a poem;
No, - many, many.
And for the difficulty
Of learning them now, the prize is bestowed.

It was quite disconcerting, in a way, and I wondered if I should use the more accurate translation. In the end, I decided to leave the quote as-is since it appears quite frequently in popular quotation databases, and I felt that the sentiment suited the image nicely! Let's just chalk it up to poetic licence! :)

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