Catalpa Snow

Big thunderstorm yesterday morning, came up fast on the heels of a sunny dawn, undulating torrents of rain, lightning that struck with a snap, and locomotive thunder.  The two-year-old stood at the glass sliding door and watched happily for a while but then furrowed her brow and said, “I wanna see da ‘tunder!”

Drove to town in the aftermath, the deep green, the shiny steaming streets, a heavy white skirt of fallen blossoms banked around the boles of the catalpa trees like a carpet of soggy popcorn.  Maybe it was just the light, or the post-storm atmosphere, but I didn’t realize how many catalpa trees grow around these parts.  We had one in our back yard on the home farm and it seemed so exotic next to the brush and white pines.  Those elephant-ear leaves, the seed pod beans long as a garter snake, and the blossoms far too intricately tattooed and fragrant to be growing off a Chippewa County tree.  I heard once that the farmers planted them because they made good fence posts.

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