Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The First Blossoms of Spring

kaenari flowers
Na ri na ri kae na ri
Ip beh tta ta mul ko yo
Pyong ah ri tteh chong chong chong
Pom na tu ri kam ni ta.

Lily, lily, golden bell,
Pluck it, put it in your bill.
Bunch of chickies, hop, hop, hop!
Springtime outing, off they go.

The Korean children's song 'Pom Na Tur Ri' celebrates the blossoming of the kaenari, the harbinger of spring here on the peninsula. Kaenari 개나리 is also known as the sansuyu 산수유 (borrowed from Chinese, I think), and the Japanese cornel dogwood or Asiatic dogwood (Latin name Cornus officinalis).

kaenari blossoms
kaenari or Japanese dogwood
I noticed the first blooms on Monday, walking to school with Mr Hwang and asked him what they were. He told me, and sang me the song. You can hear the tune if you go to the webpage where I found the lyrics and translation, then scroll down:

Here is another shot of the ones along the hill, mixed together with some purple blossoms whose name I don't know:

kaenari blossoms mixed with purple flower

Further floral news comes from the little greenspace next to my officetel. The name of it is MaeHwa Park, and the maehwa, or Chinese apricot, is another signal of the arrival of spring. The first scattering of blossoms is strewn across the patch of trees in the park.

first maehwa blossoms
first maehwa blossomes
I'll post more pictures soon, once the park and the sidewalk are in full bloom.