Appalachia Through My Eyes Appalachian Dialect

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Dogwood Winter

dogwood blooms

At the end of last week dogwood winter came to my area of Appalachia. We had frost and temps as low as 28 one morning.

I took Granny to the doctor over in Blairsville at the first of last week. As we drove the last part of our trip I said “Well the dogwoods are blooming over here.” Granny said they sure were pretty.

On the way home I started thinking about the dogwoods again and decided I’d see if I could spot where they were blooming closer to home. All the while I knew it didn’t make sense that they wouldn’t be blooming at my house sense the distance isn’t that far.

Sure enough just as we turned off the highway onto our road there were several dogwoods in bloom. And after I dropped Granny off and went on home I plainly seen the two dogwoods at the bottom of the drive blooming too. Funny I noticed the dogwoods in Blairsville and completely missed the ones blooming right under my nose 🙂


*Dogwood winter = a cold spell that happens every year just as the dogwood trees are blooming.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    April 18, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Over here in our town we have a lighted Dogwood trail where you can drive all around and see everyones trees who choose to join in putting ground lights on their trees……It’s especially nice this year since social distancing has given us inclination to get out and drive from time to time….. Tipper that last line in your post is a good thought for me also to consider and take note of . We’ve had some cold weather here too. Had potted some new flowers outside but had to bring them in the last few days. Schools and colleges closed for the rest of the year here.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Dogwood trees are so pretty. I like the pretty pink ones too. They come once a yr and i just love seeing them light tn. Up.we have plenty of them here in greeneville Tn.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 14, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I have one little dogwood and it’s not really mine. The ground it grew from is across the property line put it leans over mine. It was in a briar thicket and in sad shape when I noticed. I fought my way in to it and cut all the briars that were hanging in it. This is the first year it has bloomed out all over but the blooms are small. It is a wild dogwood so maybe it supposed to be that way. If anyone knows how to make a dogwood produce larger blooms I’d like to know.

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    April 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    i have a beautiful dogwood tree at home here but being autumn over here in new zealand its not flowering yet i love the story and the song about the dogwood by wilma lee cooper its an aewsome version

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    April 14, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Tipper we all know the story about the dogwood tree. Have you ever looked at the bloom on a dogwood tree ? I have ‘t Seen a dogwood tree in Texas they may be around but I asked T if he had he could not recall seeing the dogwood. They are so beautiful we have one at our home in NC

    • Reply
      Mary Lou McKillip
      April 14, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Wilma Lee and Stony Cooper had-a song-out about the legend of the Dogwood Tree.

  • Reply
    Cynthia L
    April 14, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I’ve never heard of Dogwood Winter. I have heard of Blackberry Winter, because Mama always said it wouldn’t turn hot until the blackberries finished blooming. The Legend of the Dogwood is just a legend, because the dogwood tree is not native to Israel. The dogwoods in Richmond, Va. are beautiful, especially in my neighborhood.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Sigh! Y’all keep it comin’! Everything but the forsythia and hyacinths still bare here in Michigan. Daffodils and tulips have sent up leaves, but no flowers. Cherry shrubs and roses are getting green shoots. We’re at least a month away from being able to plant anything outdoors. It really helps (especially as we are sheltering in place) to read that spring truly is coming for y’all. Gives us hope that we’ll see it too before long.

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    April 14, 2020 at 10:45 am

    I love searching the woods as I drive looking for blooming dogwoods. They mean spring is just around the corner and all is well in my part of the world. They are so beautiful.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 14, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Yep, me too Ron. The same here in with dogwood and redbud overlapping. One of the first things I look for in the spring is sarvis. While traveling out a rural road I noticed a whole hillside of small trees in bloom. They were so far away I couldn’t tell what they were and wondered if they were sarvis. Turned out they were bradford pears, an invasive china cultivar that has crossed with other cultivars and became fertile. Well anyways I passed through there later and the farmer had cut them all down. That wasn’t a pretty sight but that’s what needs to be done to this invasive species.
    Tipper, I ordered a couple of sarvis last spring and intended to send you one, but they were out of stock and said they would send this spring. Well tn. nursery sent my money back last week. Out of stock again. That would have been good to grow on your hillside.
    Dogwood, Redbud, winter here right now and my Wife told me we could get light snow tonight.

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      April 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      AW, I just discovered yesterday that sarvis will sun scald if exposed to direct sun. I have one here and after about 3PM or so the sun hits directly on the trunk. Redbud will also sun scald the same way.

      • Reply
        aw griff
        April 14, 2020 at 7:19 pm

        Ron thanks. Didn’t know that but I do see them growing in some semi shady spots and out of the way places like rocky cliffs. When I finally get a sarvis I’ll keep that in mind.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 10:04 am

    A friend is always teasing me about buying my house someday. His wife said he will have to live here by himself as she would be scared to death back here in the boonies. I pointed out a dogwood tree in bloom and told him when he lives here and she lives down the road, he will need to call her and let her know the fish are biting when it is bloomed. I forgot to tell him to remind her to bundle up while she’s fishing. The legend of the dogwood makes me misty-eyed every time I read it.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 10:02 am

    The dogwoods in the woods have been in bloom for a couple of weeks here but the ones transplanted in yards are just now starting to bloom

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Tipper, you probably didn’t see the ones at home because your mind was set on your Mother and at this time it is concerning going to or taking someone to the doctor. Just before I came in to read your blog I had looked out our kitchen window and noticed our deep pink dogwood is in bloom. I just stood there admiring its beauty! We have had a cold snap here in south central PA but they are forecasting warmer weather by the weekend.

  • Reply
    Margie Neese Goldstein
    April 14, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Oh how I love the dogwood! I was always told Christ was crucified on the dogwood. Whether He was or not, in my mind, the DOGWOOD is the harbinger of spring and the White is so lovely as is the Pink. The four sided blooms are hardy and unique! After a gloomy winter, the Dogwood bravely blooms forth —visible from quite a distance in bleak hills. I call my Dogwoods Gabriel and Michael… just saying. I also will make spring bouquets with Dogwood sprigs! Who says I’m not rich? I got views Kings don’t have and I got a warm home, my health, food aplenty and love that cannot be purchased. It’s a great life in these hills! I too am guilty of failing to notice what’s right before me sometimes but isn’t it sweet when we do see with childlike splendor! Blessings and agape love to all! Find the beauty in every day life! Tomorrow is a mystery. Yesterday is history. All we have is today!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 8:35 am

    We can get so caught up in the cares of the day and completely miss all the wonderful stages of each season. One of the reasons I really wanted a job where I was out and about was I had grown weary of the walls that always seemed to surround me. I was so thankful to be out and able to watch the changing of the seasons. I especially loved early Spring after a hard Winter, and I never tired of seeing the redbud, sarvis, and dogwoods dotting the hillsides. Unfortunately, as time went on I got caught up into my schedule and being here and there on time, and I would go for a week sometime totally engrossed in the business at hand. Now I love a garden because it pulls one away from the walls, and it gives satisfaction of seeing seeds grow into something we can use. I do not have the endurance I once did, so I take a fold up chair and cell phone so my breaks don’t make me fidgety. Also a garden is a wonderful break from all this quarantine business. I had even heard they closed down some community gardens. It would seem if there ever was a time when you needed a garden of some kind it would be now for many reasons. I hope all the Blind Pig gang and readers have stocked up on canning lids, because I am reading where they could be the next shortage. While everybody else was scrambling for necessary items, I went to Walmart and got them before they sold out or raised the price.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    April 14, 2020 at 8:26 am

    My folks always called that last cold spell of spring “a little Easter snap”.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 14, 2020 at 8:16 am

    It seems human nature to not see what is right in front of us until something draws our attention, like driving to Blairsville.

  • Reply
    Betty Short
    April 14, 2020 at 7:57 am

    I have never heard the term dogwood winter but when we’d get a late cold spell in April my Mom called it the blackberry freeze.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 14, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Something very interesting happened here in the last two weeks.

    First, dogwood and red bud were blooming at the same time. Granted redbud was past its peak and dogwood had not reached full, but to overlap at all is unusual. In this case, it was the second time because they overlapped last year for the first time I ever knew of for sure.

    Second, and also very unusual, blackberry was beginning to bloom while dogwood was still blooming but redbud was over. I do not recall ever seeing that happen before, though I admit I have not been looking for it because I did not consider it possible.

    So, that leaves me confused about Dogwood Winter vs Blackberry Winter this year. This whole spring has seemed to me to be compressed with more happening in a shorter period if time. For now, it is cold enough I am holding off on planting okra, cucumber, cantaloupe and watermelon.

    As to your point about noticing, we all do the same. We see without retaining the knowledge we have seen. It frustrates me because there is so much that could be learned if I saw, remembered and understood. I guess it is necessary to dis-remember the ‘unimportant’ just to do what has to be done.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Giving frost warnings for here this morning, our dogwoods have been blooming here for couple 2 or 3 weeks we’re a little farther south than you all, woke up one morning on the way to work and frost was on the rooftops, I guess that was our dogwood winter, Easter was the warmest I can remember, and tornados lined up and marched in almost same path across the state fortunately not all touched down and no one was seriously injured that I know of, thank the Good Lord.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 14, 2020 at 5:45 am

    Sometimes you notice things better away from home. That’s me too. When me and Harold would go Speckled Trout Fishing at Piercy Creek, we noticed the Pines that were Perfect for our Christmas Tree. We had Pines at home, but for some reason those looked better over there. …Ken

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