In the very early spring, before the leaves begin to show on any trees of the forest, you will see trees in the forest understory covered with white flowers. Some might think these are a fruit tree like a plum or perhaps even a dogwood. But no. If you get a chance, take a look at the flowers up close.
The flowers of the Serviceberry, also known as the Shadbush, are sort of shaggy and ragged looking, with petals that hang down a bit. The flower clusters are a couple inches across and pure white. The overall look of the tree in the bare gray forest is one of drifts of white, almost like clouds. When the sun breaks through and shines on the tree, it can be quite spectacular.
The tree makes tasty berries that the birds always get to first, but if you’re lucky you can get enough to make a pie or jam. The old time locals refer to this as “Sarviss Berry”, and in fact that’s the first name I ever knew for it.