Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

April 19, 2009


The hummingbirds are back and the Gingles Tree is in full bloom


          April is a great time to be alive. The hummingbirds are back from somewhere and amusing us as they dart back and forth among the dogwoods and the azaleas.

          We sometimes give the hummers names. Usually there are two flitting about nervously. One day they are Billy and Barbara. Another day we may call them Al and Suzanne, Grady and Celestra, Jeane and Dan, or Cecil and Joyce.

          But when doves show up, they are always Pete and Pauline. We bought a home from a couple in Nashville who made us promise to continue feeding their beloved doves, Pete and Pauline. It was a promise we enjoyed keeping. The other day we saw seven doves enjoying a dinner of seeds as they strolled in our backyard. I am sure they were great grandchildren of Pete and Pauline.

          Just now our “knock out” roses are blooming like crazy. What a delight they are. We planted four bushes last year and added two more recently. If I can find the money, we may buy a few more. They provide beautiful roses for weeks on end.

          The biggest azalea bush in our front yard was lovelier than ever this year. In fact it was simply gorgeous. The blooms are gone now but we will remember them for awhile. A picture of that azalea in all its splendor now hangs on our bedroom wall.

          The dogwoods and azaleas always remind us of Opelika in the springtime. They are as beautiful there as any place in the world.

          Last year I planted a Japanese magnolia tree that has rewarded us with several lovely blooms. I think I will buy another one like it so it will not be lonely.

          Two camellia bushes are flourishing now and should produce some pretty flowers in a few weeks. It is nice that everything does not bloom all at once. The crepe myrtles, for example, bloom at just the right time, late summer when the spring flowers are spent.

           Two years ago I decided to stop butchering or “murdering” our crepe myrtles and just allow them to grow. Some are quite tall now and seem to be thankful that I did not cut them back so severely, as many gardeners do.

          Once again I repented of my decision to stop having a vegetable garden. So the farmer in me is now watching the small plants grow and expecting a harvest of corn, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, collards, and even strawberries. My dad would be proud of me though he would no doubt ask why I am satisfied with so small a garden. His gardens were sometimes as large as five acres or more.

          Outside our front door the Gingles Tree is in full bloom. Though it is actually a Chinese fringetree, it is the Gingles Tree to us. It was a gift some seven years ago from our friends Betty and Judy Gingles, two beautiful people who once touched our lives. The fragrance of the snowy, white flowers of the tree remind us of the even more wonderful fragrance of friendship.  

          Winter is past. Spring is here. Father God has given Mother Nature the freedom to bless us with the glorious extravagance of the earth’s springtime. Enjoy!  + + +