Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It's "Raining" Petals

So, as you can see, Wordless Wednesday wasn't enough for me... I had to share the rest of the photos I took of a neighboring almond orchard. :)
It's that time of year again... the almond trees have blossomed and we've spent the past couple of weeks enjoying their soft color and their mighty aromas. Now, the blossoms will fade and make way for the leaves to push and the fruit to begin growing. A soft breeze is all that it takes, and the blossoms start raining down from the trees.
While we are not in the orchard business, by any means, we are definitely surrounded by them! California is home to over 30 different varieties of almond trees, and this time of year is the easiest for me to recognize different varieties. Some bloom sooner than others, some have pink blossoms and some are white. Whatever their variety, they are all beautiful!
I tried my best to get a shot of the petals falling, this was the best I could do!
Honey bees play a critical role in the successful pollination of the almond flowers each year. I caught this little guy hard at work! According to the Almond Board of California, "almonds are California's number one tree nut crop, and production continues to expand to meet increasing demand. California is the only place in North America where almonds are grown commercially and California Almonds are shipped to nearly 80 countries worldwide."
  The USDA listed almonds as California's #4 agriculture commodity in 2009, producing $2,293,500,000 in revenue for the state, and accounting for 100% of the commercial US almond production. Tree nuts ranked the highest in agriculture exports in 2009, with sales over $3,240,300,000.

Some of the younger trees are already budding with leaves and have very few blossoms left.
At another neighboring orchard, I caught these honey bees zipping in and out of their bee boxes.
Today I noticed that the peach trees are starting to blossom, so stay tuned for more!

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