I decided to take a detour from unusual animals to focus on the beautiful blossoms of the dogwood tree. Spring is here and these are some of the first signs. The above photo was taken by me from a tree growing wild on the edge of the woods by our house.
The white "petals" are actually not petals at all but special leaves called bracts. Some dogwoods have pink bracts. Four of these encircle a cluster of small yellow flowers. In the photo below you can see the small, delicate bloom of one of those tiny flowers.
Imagine what it will look like when all are blooming!
An interesting story of symbolism concerning this blossom has been passed down in Christendom through the years.
It is said that the four bracts are in the shape of a cross, while the yellow cluster in the center corresponds to the crown of thorns. The dark spots on the edges are reminiscent of the nails driven into the hands of Jesus, while the purplish red color spreading out represents the blood caused by the piercing of the nails.
I used ask.com and wikipedia as references to learn about the dogwood flower. Flower Meaning is another website with interesting information.
This is Day 4 of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge.