By Heidi Lewis
1913 was a crazy time. It was the year Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky staged the ballet The Rite of Spring. Nowadays, we are accustomed to the dissonance and seemingly tonal chaos of Stravinsky’s famous piece. It has been rolled into cinematic scores, including Fantasia, but a hundred years ago in Paris, it was revolutionary.
For inspiration in that seminal work, Stravinsky was unified by a single idea: the mystery and creative power of spring. While artists and musicians walk beneath boughs of blossoms, trying to capture the energy that makes spring spring, botanists measure the phenological events—the emergence of blossoms, the arrival of bees, the nesting of birds, etc.—that lead to the coming season’s harvest.
It would be a fabulous spring ritual to view a time-lapse video of a single apple blossom bursting into bloom, to watch the awesome energy it takes for that little flower to emerge. What starts with an apple tree’s single blossom soon grows into swaths of white fluffy orchards. The blooms emerge first in the west, migrating their springtime madness over the landscape eastward.
The apple trees are starting to bloom, and if you check it out closely, it’s kinda a revolution.