blooms white around the same time every year, give or take a few days. I don’t know what species it is, though having lived with it for so long, you’d think I’d have done my homework by now. I do know that it shares the backyard with a hackberry and two pecan trees–one of which is the largest of its kind I’ve ever seen. Each Spring, as a kind of quiet ritual, I try to photograph this small unknown tree at night, during the brief time that it’s covered in blooms–when the streetlight in the alley casts it in such a weird glow. Last night I tried again, but shouldn’t have relied on my phone camera for something like this. (duh!) The best ones are from a few years ago, taken on April 1st, 2006; here’s one of them, with a crescent moon sitting way up there, seen between the branches. Soon enough, probably tonight when the storms blow through, it will drop all those flowers and return to its more usual modesty, just standing there by the back gate, offering a little shade to the ground beneath it, as the summer heat and long daylight sky come on.