EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The re-emergence of beautiful blooms after the dead of winter, plays a symbolic role in our Easter season. We celebrate the beauty of spring, and the special tree that connects it to Easter.
While nature's beauty is visible in East Texas, in one form or another throughout the year, spring is the season when it makes its most spectacular show.
This yearly renewal, bursting through the dull landscape of winter, draws visitors by the tens of thousands to our area each year.
While Tyler may be known as the Rose City, it's the flamboyant blooms of azaleas that bring more tourists to Tyler for the azalea and spring flower trail than any other festival in East Texas.
Visitors also flock to Nacogdoches for their spectacular azalea trails, to Gladewater's Mrs. Lee's Garden for its golden daffodils, and to Linden to view the wildflowers.
But wherever we view the bounty of an East Texas spring, there is usually a special tree enhancing its beauty.
The dogwood tree, with its snowy white blossoms, grows in abundance in our area.
Visitors have come from all over Texas and adjoining states since 1938 to drive through Palestine's Davey Dogwood Park.
The dogwood trails of Palestine and Quitman celebrate this ancient tree for both its beauty and its intriguing legend, a favorite of storytellers for centuries.
According to legend, the tree once grew as big as the mighty oak. But when a dogwood tree was used in the crucifixion of Jesus, dogwood trees were so ashamed that thereafter, they grew too slender and bent to ever again be used in such a way.
The legend also says that's why each dogwood blossom forms a cross, with a rusty nail print found in each petal. Stains of blood and a crown of thorns centering each flower, complete the dogwood tree's transformation.
It's not a legend found in the Bible, but it is a cherished reminder of Christ's death on the cross, and the rebirth symbolized in beautiful blossoms.
Tyler's Azalea and Spring Flower Trail runs from March 25 through April 10. Palestine's Dogwood Trails is scheduled for the last two weeks in March and the first week in April.
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