One of the sure signs that things are progressing in Spring are the various buds that develop on the trees. In our yard, one of the ones I love looking at are the apple tree buds. We have about 6 varieties of apple trees around our property, and watching the buds begin to fill, even during a rain like this week had in abundance, is a sure sign that in about 5 or 6 weeks the pretty pink blossoms will spring out, to be followed by the developing apples to be harvested, by us or the deer in the fall.
When we lived in the Valley, the apple blossom time was one of the highlights of the year – the fragrant blossoms and wonderful colours making a spring statement of ongoing life. It was a bit annoying at times, as tourists – blossom peepers – would drive by and sometimes cut a bunch of the blossoms, ignorant of the fact that every fertilized blossom was a potential apple farmers depended on for income. But it also brought tourism income, so we didn’t make a huge deal out of it – most times anyway. There was one time I witnessed a farmer out working in his orchard take to task a group who had cut a large bunch of apple tree limbs off to get the blossoms. He wanted them to pay $0.50 a flower…
We are more laid back here as we don’t depend much on the apple crop, and so a much more “Let’s see what we get this year” kind of attitude. The deer and the birds like that style, and often we see both deer and pheasants in the yard, hanging around the apple trees in October. We also get the odd Waxwing – a bird that has developed a taste for the apple blossoms. They were around the yard this week, but it’s too early for their favourite food, so they didn’t stay. Avian tourists you might say.