Almond orchards in bloom

Every spring—this year earlier than some—acres of almond orchards around here burst into incredible displays of pale pink of white blooms, and start to buzz, literally, as bees go to work pollinating trees. If you neglect to get out and about around the  time the blossoms are on the branches, however, you could miss them entirely. So around the middle of February, I start looking for signs of spring in the neighborhood… and start asking friends who pass by the farms on a regular basis: “any blooms yet?”

It would be a shame to miss something as beautiful and transient as this.


We took these photos just outside the town of Winters (where my shower was held), but made various stops around the Capay valley last week—including the local Almond blossom festival (held every last Sunday in February).


Hudson had a blast riding his bike under the raining petals—that is, until (I think) he got a little nervous about the bees. We’ve been reading The Story Of Ferdinand

a lot lately and he’s quite fixated on the part where Ferdinand the bull gets stung by a bee. (Who was, of course, quite in the right—having been sat upon by Ferdinand, but that’s hard to explain. Especially since, if we’re being strictly logical, the bee would have more likely been crushed.) All of that is to say that the walk back to the car involved less bike-riding and looked instead like this.

Here’s the whole harvest cycle for almonds, if you’re curious. The drought has been extremely rough for California’s almond crop (which supplies nearly all of the country)—and now I’m worried that the rains we finally did get may have made it difficult for those very important bees who were out with the earlier-than-usual blooms to do their job—so enjoy those precious almonds!

I’ll share a favorite way to do so, tomorrow.

P.S. Photos from last year. Hudson would dive into the wild flowers, around the trees, nose first!

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