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locust trees
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
soopageek
After the dogwoods lose their blooms, the locusts begin to take their place. You Lexingtonians on my list may not be as familiar with this part of Kentucky spring-time, for locusts aren't very desirable suburban trees. Their root systems are very shallow, causing yards to become bumpy and knobby, with little locust trees trying to constantly sprout from them. Unchecked, the root systems can spread indefinitely, essentially creating a network of trees with common roots. The bark is rough and twisted looking and the branches are spindly, thin, and full of thorns, with small, unattractive leaves which don't provide much in the way of shade or aesthetic beauty. The only place I know of in Lexington off the top of my head where there are locust trees is downtown, at the corner of Jefferson and Manchester, where the bridge creates a "T" intersection right next to Rupp Arena. Growing there beside the brdige/street are a few locust trees.

Out here in the sticks, locust trees are abundant. Nearly every front yard and fence row has at least one. And for the most part they are a worthless tree: they're ugly, they have thorns, and the wood is pitiful as a heat source. But in May, they redeem themselves. The branches fill with these large, fluffy blooms and they are are extremely fragrant.






The house my parents live in (the house where I gew up) is surrounded by locust and maple trees. There are three locust trees in the yard. One is right off the end of the front porch.



There are also dozens of them growing in the fence row across the street.





The past week, the air has been filled with the fragrance of locusts wafting in the spring breeze. It's like living in a floral shop. But like the dogwoods, it doesn't last very long. You get about a good week or two of the blooms, and maybe a week of the fragrance and then it snows - locust snow. It began today as it threatened to rain, hundreds of blooms filling the air, falling to the ground like snow.



It lies on the road and swirls into the air as cars drive by.



And it collects in small drifts and banks.



I have the windows open in the house and am enjoying the smell while I have it; I know it'll only be around for a couple more days. Only when it stops snowing, is summer truly here.

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