I tried to describe to Anne the size and conformation of the delicate white-pink mountain laurel flowers that occupy the woods surrounding my parents’ house. Tiny white star-shaped blooms that form clusters, and within each star are multiple stamens — the male organ of the plant that contains the pollen — shown here as the thin, white lines that are anchored out into the petals with darker pink dots. These stamens form a sort of “trip-function” for the release of pollen. When a bee settles on the flower, his weight trips the stamens which release their hold on the petal and curl inward, dusting the bee with the pollen for transfer to other plants. The mountain laurel in Maryland almost always is in full-bloom for my birthday. In particularly good, fruitful years when the flowers are finally spent and begin to fall, it can look like it is snowing in June.