Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Flowers at School

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This is the view of the front walkway at my school. A keen viewer, or at least one who has read the title of this post, will observe occasional bursts of color along the edges of the walkway--indications that Spring is upon us. At last.

It's been slow coming, this year, but arrived all at once; I'm pretty sure that when I left school last Friday, practically none of these blooms had, uh, bloomed. Korea's harbinger of spring is the 개나리 kaenari, a variety of Japanese cornel dogwood, immortalized in the Korean children's song I blogged about back in 2010:

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I've been starting classes this week with some questions about spring time and greenery, and what flowers students have seen blooming already. They know the kaenari and the 진달래 jindallae, which is the Korean azalea, member of the rhododendron family--a third grader who has some in his yard even (more or less) knew the term azalea. It is a delicate fuschia:

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I also found this petite blue groundcover starting to spread in the flowerbeds alongside the main building. I think it may be something called veronica:

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Already springing forth with massive hand-sized blossoms, the Korean magnolia flanks the side stairways that lead up into the building. The Korean name is 태산목 taesanmok:

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The 산수유 sansuyu is another variety of cornel dogwood (like the kaenari) that shares its golden color but not its droopy bell shape. In the picture at the top of the post, you can see two fine specimens in full flower on the near left. The school has put labels on exemplars of many of the species on the grounds, and I include one here just FTR:

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I took these pictures around lunchtime, and a bee was also having a meal. No doubt there's a tiny amount of nectar in each little flower, so he didn't hang around very long posing for my camera. In fact, mostly he showed me his ass abdomen:

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I shoot flowers every spring in Seoul and post them here, as well as snapping them wherever I travel. Gotta be a hundred or two pics by now, so if you're interested, click on "flowers" in the label cloud on the right. Or just hang around the Patch--the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival is coming soon!

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