Spring came late this year. It came in the middle of March, around the time the calendar notes the first day of spring.
It's easy to tell when it's spring in Memphis. Everyone begins snorting sniffling as allergies kick in, and hundreds of thousands of pear trees bloom.
The pears are naturally-seeded "volunteers" from the hundreds of thousands of ornamental pears used in landscaping in the area.
Everyone has a pear or two in their yard, and businesses plant them as well. They are perfectly-shaped, they bloom early and profusely, stay green all summer without much mess from ornamental fruit, and turn brilliant orange in the autumn.
Some of the pears are susceptible to wind damage in summer and ice damage in winter, so their natural globe-shape has to be thinned. Otherwise they require little-to-no summer watering and no other care.
Still, they are invasive, growing in empty lots, on the freeway berms, and anyplace else they can get a toehold. So in some regards, they are a beautiful weed.
Below are a few additional pictures from Spring 2010.