The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is now.If you mention Fanling to someone who is familiar with the place, they are most likely to comment about the trees. There are rather a lot of them, and they make the town more attractive than it otherwise would be, given the often horrendous traffic. In fact, they are what make Fanling such a pleasant place, especially in the springtime, when new growth and intensely colourful flowers combine to create the illusion of an urban woodland with high-rise apartments, factories and other buildings merely set down in the spaces between the trees (see the first photo to get an idea of what I mean). This post is a follow-on from Spring Fever.
The traffic seems almost incidental.
The cotton trees are always the first to flower, probably because they do so before bothering to poke out any leaves. They were in full bloom throughout March this year, which is up to ten days longer than usual. I believe that the explanation for this is a lack of rain during the month, because a heavy downpour soon dislodges wilting flowers.
I like trees. I like to look at them. I like to photograph them. I like the way they take their time. Of course, I’m not suggesting that we slow our lives down to keep pace with trees—we’d probably have to hibernate in the winter for a start—but they do provide a steady reminder that living life at breakneck speed means only that you will get to your destination more quickly than you intended. With this in mind, I offer the following photographs, to be perused at leisure:
A cycle track running alongside the avenue of paper-bark trees.
Half a tree, half a tree, half a tree onward….