Northern catalpa, Keene, NH

These days the Northern Catalpa trees (Catalpa speciosa) are in full bloom. Catalpas are planted ornamentally throughout Keene. They have large, heart-shaped leaves and wide-branching crowns, so they make lovely shade trees. And when they bloom, you can see their massy clumps of white flowers from far away: they look like giant, green-and-white bouquets. This picture is a close-up I snapped on my way home from school the other day: this is someone’s front yard tree, and one particular bough reached down near the sidewalk for the perfect photo opportunity.

Yesterday I taught my final face-to-face class of the summer, so I’ll spend the rest of the weekend grading. But even when you’re buried in papers, it doesn’t take long to stop and contemplate the catalpas. Thank goodness it’s Friday, and thank goodness we have catalpas to help us carry on.