A few weeks ago I received a voice mail from a woman with the most charming accent. In her message she told me, I was highly recommended by Charles Spada and could I contact her immediately to discuss photographing her Tulip Magnolia Tree. Intrigued, I called her right away and she told me the most delightful story about the tree and how it only flowers for six days in April and she was about to sell the family home and she wanted to document the very last time she would get to enjoy her Magnolia Tree. We spoke several times over the next few weeks as she watched to see how the weather would influence when the tree would be in full bloom and once she'd established that very short window, we made a date.
Pulling up to her driveway, I could only keep thinking, ok where is this tree, nothing was really in bloom yet as I glanced around the front of her home. I was greeted at the door by the most marvelous lady who was so excited for me to see her tree. She lead me through a beautiful antique pine paneled study to a large window perfectly framing her Magnolia Tree. It was at it's height and I noticed one bud had already fallen to the ground. I went back to my car to get my camera as she opened the back gate. I set my camera on tripod and then she and I walked around the yard discussing many things, she was very proud of her home and I think with a sadness in her heart, highly anticipated the documentation of the Magnolia's last bloom for her. I was struck by how all the other trees, had almost decidedly remained bare, giving full glory to this Magnolia. We determined the best angle and luckily the sky was slightly over cast with pools of light breaking through in just the right places.
I have never been so moved by someones' love of home and as I left I wondered if the next homeowner will love and care for this Tulip Magnolia Tree as much as this family has...