LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA in Spring

If the title of this post looks familiar to you, you are very observant and deserve a high five.

Back at the beginning of this year (January 2nd to be exact) I shared some very different pictures of this tree in a post called LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA IN SNOW

Well, it’s May…

The snow has melted, the hot sun is making regular appearances again, and wouldn’t you know it, this Tulip Tree is now in full spring bloom.

Liriodendron tulipifera, aka Tulip Tree or Yellow Poplar, is native to Eastern North America (far from where this one is planted) and is the state tree of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Tulip Trees bloom May through June.

Big showy yellow flowers banded in bright orange at the base of each petal.

What a gift to witness these blooms! Almost surreal looking.

Generous cups of cold sherbet, vanilla and orange…

Perhaps a shaded feast for some lucky pollinators on a hot day.

As colorful as they are, it’s easy to scan the tree and not see the flowers because they don’t open up until after the leaves are fully formed, and by then they are fairly tucked in and hidden.

I’m glad I got a chance to snap these photos; I’ve never seen a Tulip Tree bloom and I was excited to share it with you. ๐Ÿ™‚ For reference (for myself as much as anyone else) I took these with my old Pentax K-500 with an inexpensive CPL filter.

What’s blooming in your world? ๐Ÿ™‚

Love! EK

Slow Craft: the perfect sun protection hat

My primary interests this spring put me outside for long stretches of time, subsequently exposing my skin to the sun more than I’d like: hiking, camping, landscape photography, fishing, gardening, etc.

EK sitting on concrete steps surrounded by overgrown grass, trees and chicken wire fence

I wanted to create a custom-fit sun protection hat for myself that ticked all of my “must have” boxes:

  • 100% natural domestic wool with natural lanolin retained to increase the inherent moisture-repellent properties of minimally processed wool
  • Comfortable custom-fit cap intended to wear over a thin scarf or bandana for added sun protection of ears and neck
  • Dense, totally opaque fabric to maximize sun protection and reduce the risk of picking up ticks in my hair while in heavily forested areas
  • Secure/heavy enough to not blow away in the wind without being overly warm
  • Extra wide, semi-firm brim extending wide enough to protect my neck, ears, and entire face from the full noontime sun
  • Cute, homey, forest-dwelling-mushroom-spirit-vibe
  • Inspired by my own previous design for this felted wool cloche
  • Designed to felt naturally with wear over time

Crocheting is old hat for me (har har! I’ll never pass up a good pun) โ€“ I picked up some of my favorite wool yarn and a hook, threw a few stitches into a magic ring, and an hour later we had the start of something promising…

Close-up of a ring of crocheted stitches and a light green crochet hook
A hat in progress, a mug of tea, and yarn on a coffee table
EK’s crossed legs in denim pants, encircling the start of a crocheted wool sun hat

Once I was satisfied with the fit of the cap portion, I moved on to the brim with the intention to try the hat on every few rounds until I was satisfied with the width of the brim and the amount of sun protection coverage for my face and neck.

An unfinished crocheted hat and a ball of yarn in a wooden bowl on a coffee table

My goal was to finish the hat completely in time to bring it with me on a weekend camping trip.

I finished just before bed the night before we left and snapped a window-lit selfie as the sun went down to commemorate.

EK posing in front of a window wearing a newly finished hat

This hat is a delight! Truly one of the best things I’ve ever made, all crafts considered.

It fits my outdoor needs exactly, which means I will treasure it and wear it for years to come.

This feeling; this is whole point of slow craft. โค


As it turns out, an unintended benefit of my new wool sun hat is that it helps me hid from neighbors and sip my tea in peace…

EK sipping tea in a chair outside, face is hidden by a sun hat

Anti-social sun protection…

But as always, my anti-social inclinations are betrayed by a big grin and friendly disposition. ๐Ÿ™‚

My new hat even matches my favorite self-drafted knit shawl.

This look is giving me amateur mycologist, forest dwelling Carmen Sandiego vibes and I love it.

EK in the same chair with tea but looking at the camera smiling

*singing to myself* – “Where in the woods is, EK Sandiego?”

hehehe ๐Ÿ˜‰

‘Til we chat again, EK