Dogwoods – Its Legends and Winters

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 4 Comments

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver

If you are a regular here to my blog or on my Facebook page, you know I enjoy the woods and the fields, the flowers and the trees, and the birds and the deer. And of course, dogs and people too. πŸ™‚ So Earth Day seems like a good time to think about those gifts of nature. 

This time of the year, the dogwood trees are bursting into bloom everywhere around here. And we are having that cold snap we seem to always have when the dogwood bloom. We’ve already had redbud winter, so now it’s dogwood winter with a chance for frost tonight. More winters will come our way before spring warms completely into summer.  

I only have one sick dogwood in my yard (I think it’s got some kind of blight) and no beautiful pink ones like the one here. I took a picture of this one beside a church in Versailles. The white blooms up top were on a tree in a hay field fence row. I’ll have to go walk around that field again before the week is done to see if it’s blooming now. 

But have you heard the Legend of the Dogwood?  On Monday I let Jocie on her Heart of Hollyhill blog tell the Legend of the Dogwood as told to her by her Mama Mae. I don’t remember who first told me when I was a young teen that the rusty looking stains on the four petals of the dogwood represented the blood of Jesus, but I do remember studying the blooms and thinking about the symbolism. 

However, I had never heard the rest of the legend or read the poem that some think began the legend or perhaps was written by an unknown author because he or she was told the legend. According to the legend, the cross Jesus was crucified on was a dogwood tree that at that time grew tall and big like an oak tree. But the tree was so distraught at being used in the death of Jesus that Jesus had pity on it. He made it grow small and twisty so that it could never be used in such a way again and then marked its beautiful blooms with the nail prints and bloodstains. Even the center has the symbolism of being the crown of thorns. 

Click here to read one version of the legend. It doesn’t have any Biblical basis. The dogwood is not mentioned in the Bible. The type of tree the cross was from is not named. But that doesn’t keep the story or legend from making a person look at the blooms and think about Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. As the George Washington Carver up at the top of this post says, God speaks to us through nature all the time. We just have to tune in.

Had you ever heard the legend of the dogwood?

Do you have dogwood winters where you live?

As always, thanks for reading.

Comments 4

  1. Linda McFarland

    I had heard the legend about the dogwood and did not know about dogwood/redbud winter or any other 'cause one winter is enough for me! Call me one lady who is ready for spring to stay! Love the pictures! Linda

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      You think one winter will do you, do you, Linda? But here in KY we have warm ups and cool downs, sometimes in the same day. But pretty soon we'll be complaining about the heat. Glad you liked the dogwoods. The pink ones were so pretty next to a white brick church.

  2. Lisa Bragg

    To both your questions, yes. I am ready for all these "little winters" to be over for the year. A few months ago a high in the 60's seemed warm, now it just seems chilly, especially with all this rain.I love reading your blogs Ann.

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      Blackberry winter is usually the chilliest around here, Lisa, but dogwood winter is doing fine. Supposed to frost and maybe freeze tonight. πŸ™ You're right about our perspectives on the temperatures. We're ready for warmer!! I do appreciate you reading my ramblings, Lisa.

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