I didn’t take any photos today, so I’m going to post one I took while I was in KY. This is a mimosa blossom:
These do not grow in New Hampshire, and I don’t recall ever having seen one when I lived in Virginia. But they do grow in Kentucky and in Arkansas.
Mimosa trees were one of my favorite “toys” when I was a kid. The branches form very low to the ground and angle out at 45 degrees or less. This makes it incredibly easy to climb, and I spent many hours in the branches of these wonderful trees.
When we lived in Arkansas (from when I was four until I turned eight), whenever Mom would come home from the grocery store with bananas, my brother Steve and I would each grab one and run to the nearest Mimosa so we could pretend we were monkeys.
The nearest mimosa was in Mr. Ham’s yard. He was a widower who lived in the house next door, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a finer man. Mom was worried we would break a branch, so she hollered for us to get out of his tree. Mr Ham heard this and hollered back at Mom, “If they break a branch, I’ll just saw it off! You let those boys play in my tree!” What a guy!
We moved away from Arkansas after four years, as Dad was transferred to Grand Forks, ND. We moved back to Arkansas again four years later, but Mr Ham had died while we were up north. He was as much my grandpa as my real grandpa’s were.
The leaves of the mimosa are bipinnate, and the little leaflets can be easily stripped off and turned into whatever a kid’s imagination calls for. Soup anyone?
The flowers are fantastic, and they smell great too. The one in the photograph was growing at Virginia’s Dad’s place, and as you might be able to tell, it really took me back. A great deal of my childhood revolved around the mimosa.