words by ethel & paul

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THE CARAGANA

I saw the Caragana Tree in Scipio. First, I HEARD it. Hear a TREE? The Caragana was covered with bees. (Oh, happy day--air full of buzzing bees--no, singing: buzzing signifies anger.)

I noticed the bee activity in a crab apple across the street from the Caragana. It was feeble, compared with the activity on the Caragana. I led Paul to the scene, said, “We must get this tree.” At that time I did not know what the tree was, so I took a minimal sample from down low.

My grandson, in biology at that time, identified it: Siberian Pea Tree (Caragana). In fact, he quipped to his lab-mate: “Look, I have a Pea tree in my petrie dish.”

“This early-blooming tree will keep the bees away from the hummingbird feeders” I commented to Paul. We finally found one, at a wonderful nursery called “Brown Floral” which we sorely miss.

As it turned out, I was wrong. (Not the first time.) It did not bloom in Salt Lake City, west of our house, as it had bloomed in Scipio on the south side of a historic building.

Still, I love the Caragana, and we now have two. Its sweet-pea yellow flowers excite me (and one or two survivor bees) each spring. The Caragana is a guage of bee population in my downtown neighborhood.

Ethel C. Hale & W. Paul Wharton