Each morning, we gathered for breakfast under a small shelter at the edge of a nearby park. In the dark and dense fog, heavy eyes scanned only as far as the tables, set with food—and a coffee station doling out warmth, and life, to the 6:00 a.m. crowd.
By afternoon, on our return here, this large cedar beside the structure was catching the full midday sun—illuminated all across its great size.
And, orange balls, glowing.
It’s Cedar-Apple Rust.
And these great fingers, telia, extending from the purple knobs on every branch, reminded me of playdough squeezed through a child’s toy, extruded in long, cool, floppy forms.
This wet spring prompts them forth.
From them, the bright orange teliaspores will be carried, on a breezy day, to find an apple or quince tree nearby. In the fall, from lesions there, aecia, growing on the apple’s leaves and fruit, aeciospores are blown, back to cedar again—the cycle between the two plants completed in 24 months.
This tree is heavy beneath them.
Their soft, gelatinous strands, bending the branches low.
But I find something very strikingly beautiful about them.
Orange balls of fire.
"Have you seen...." is an effort to discover the unusual beauty in things not usually appreciated for their beauty.
More information about Cedar-Apple Rust may be found here.