Sunday, April 01, 2012

Fruit Tree Buds

Weather: High winds Monday battered apricot flowers; last major precipitation 2/15/12; 12:34 hours of daylight today.

What’s blooming in the area: Forsythia, daffodils, alfilerillo, purple and tansy mustards, dandelion; buds on crab apples and flowering quince.

My neighbor has had someone with a backhoe working for several days to remove two globe willows that were destroyed a few years ago by sun scald in the winter.

What’s blooming in my yard: Bradford pear, peach, hyacinth; buds on Lapins sweet cherry and lilac.

What’s leafing in the area: Siberian elms, globe and weeping willows, Apache plume, apples,

What’s leafing in my yard: Floribunda roses, hybrid tea roses and their Doctor Huey rootstock, spirea, privet.

What’s active in the area: Salt bush, gypsum phacelia, western stickseed, leather leaf globemallow, loco, winterfat, horseweed, strap leaf asters; needle and cheat grasses.

What’s active in my yard: Raspberry, grape hyacinth, daylily, tulip, bearded iris, garlic, garlic chives, Autumn Joy sedum, blue flax, vinca, bouncing Bess, large-leaf soapworts, Jupiter’s beard, yellow alyssum, anthemis, chrysanthemum.

What has active leaf buds: Purple leaf plum, sand cherry, cottonwood, sandbar willow, Russian olive.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geranium, aptenia, pomegranate.

Animal sightings: Peach tree buzzing; house flies and caterpillars hatching; small birds flitting.

Weekly update: All winter I walked by my fruit trees, looking at buds that had formed in late fall. They didn’t appear to change much, though I’m sure things biochemical were happening under their hard shells.

Then, the weather warmed in early March. The peaches and Bradford pears got fatter; the cherries got longer and glossier; the apricots got redder.

Soon, the outer scales began to differentiate themselves as their internal organs expanded.

Then, like a jacket that’s grown too tight, bits of green peeped through. Soon it was slipping out the tips. Then the leaf tips themselves began to separate ever so slightly.

Next, some color pushed through the shells.

I began to curse the warm weather. The last several years snow has destroyed the peach flowers tempted too soon into the open.

This year it was the wind that blasted the apricots just as they were reaching their apex.

This week it’s been the peach’s turn to bloom.

Maybe, next week the cherries and apples will begin.

And, sometime before May it will snow again.

1. Apricot blooming in the village, with pink flowered tree in back on right, 27 March 2012.

2. Lapins cherry buds, 29 January 2012.

3. Elberta peach buds, 22 March 2012.

4. Bradford pear buds, 20 March 2012.

5. Lapins cherry buds, 25 March 2012.

6. Bradford pear buds, 25 March 2012.

7. Single apricot flower after winds two weeks ago and last Monday battered the buds, 31 March 2012; the hard buds along the stems are the winter form that haven’t yet begun to show themselves.

8. Elberta peach flower, 28 March 2012; as the flowers begin opening, the buds are in all phases of opening; almost as soon as the first flowers opened, leaves began unfurling at the tips.

9. Rome apple bud, 30 March 2012.

10. White flowered tree blooming in village, with an out-of-bloom apricot between it and the bright green Siberian elm, 29 March 2012.

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