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Spring Has Come Again

We call this magnolia Francis's Tree

Every year towards the end of April our backyard magnolia tree (pictured here) attempts to bloom.  The chief reason why it doesn't always succeed is that we often get hit with with an early spring frost, which nips the flowers in the bud, leaving them shriveled and brown.  Happily, that hasn't happened now for several springs in a row.


Forty years ago we excavated the place where theis magnolia used to be located in order to construct the large addition that serves as Willie's apartment.  At that point, the magnolia was no more than five feet tall and not doing well at all.  In fact, since it was late winter the tree's limbs were still bare.  It wasn't clear that it was still alive.   But we asked the contractor to scoop it up in a front loader and move it to its present location.  We didn't have much faith that it would survive.


Why Francis's Tree?  Our cat at the time was named Francis.  The evening after the tree had been moved, he strolled out to the excavation site past the magnolia's old location.  When he came to the top of a dirt pile, he saw the magnolia ahead, perhaps thirty feet from where it had been that morning.  He stopped in his tracks and stared at the tree.  Then he looked over his shoulder to where it had been and then turned back to look at it where it was now.  What to call the look on his face?  Puzzlement (trees don't move, do they?) or astonishment that the magnolia had obviously moved.  It was a great moment in McFarland family lore.

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