Snell Isle Series - 04 - Silk Floss Tree in full bloom

Silk Floss Tree on Cordova Blvd Snell Isle - Nikon D300 5-bracket HDRThe Snell Isle Series continues with a very special tree that can be seen on Cordova Blvd.  I have been fascinated by this tree since I first saw it almost two years ago.  It is a Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa) and stands out because of its thorny, green trunk which gives it a distinct fairy tale look.  When it blooms, it looks like a giant cotton candy on a stick with its dense, pink flowers.  

Bees were swarming this Silk Floss Tree - Nikon D300 using pop-up flashThe tree has an eastern exposure, meaning sunset time is not good for photographing it.  So I woke up early and brought my HDR gear setup (Nikon D300, tripod, cable release) to catch the early morning light that just starts to pop up over the houses lining the street at 7:30am.  As I parked my car and was getting the tripod setup, I could hear an audible buzz.  There were power lines directly above, but I thought they cannot be under such a heavy load to buzz like that.  Well, the mystery was immediately cleared up when I walked up to the Silk Floss Tree.  Bees were all over the entire tree.  Every bee in a 5-mile radius must have been there, as it was 3+ bees to a flower (see above) and I was getting my tower buzzed as I stood there too, but I tried not to flinch.  An old woman passing by said she was on the other side of the street just to avoid the bees, but I felt no threat, they were in a nectar feeding frenzy, and I moved only cautiously and purposefully.

The Silk Floss Tree on Cordova has a great canopy - Nikon D300 5-bracket HDRThe property overall has immaculate and detailed landscaping.  The owner is a kindly elderly man who I have never spoken directly to, but waved at countless time as I drove by as he is always sitting out in the driveway, though sometimes napping!  He has been gone for awhile, and I wonder if he will return.  His absence makes the neighborhood feel significantly less warm to me.

Hug this! Nikon D300 5-bracket HDRThe Silk Floss Tree of Cordova really is the grand landmark of the area, way more so than the two-story multi-million dollar homes that are adjacent to it.  Every time I pass by, it gives me at least a second of wonder and fancy in my day.  I just hope its owner returns as well.