Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eve of May

Lilac in Full Bloom...Below My Pet BEES put on a pollen and nectar gathering show...
These are just the cutest little buggers...Golden and busy. I have been maintaining the feeders in the hives. They consume about a quart of sugar syrup every 2+ days. Each day that has been warm enough, we have seen them out in great numbers. They come back to the hive heavy with nectar and pollen. Just notice how much pollen they load onto the pollen sacs on their legs. Interesting Bee Trivia: Bees practice Flower Fidelity! That is, they will individually choose one type of blossom to work; thus, the superior pollination afforded by visiting bees is facilitated. We had several unseasonably cold nights last week, and suffered a good deal of frost damage to the grapes, which will severely impact the output of the vines this year. Below, frost burned tender grape shoots. They will send out new shoots. The crop just tends to be much smaller - if at all. Below, The persimmon suffered an equal fate.... Luckily the persimmon sends out their fruit shoots after the leaves, so there shouldn't be too much impact...We'll see. I am enjoying the anticipation of the fruit that has done it, in spite of the unseasonable cold. Below, Plums...And of course PEARS...Below, Danjou..."Plant pears you feed your heirs"...Even the nectarines seem to have dodged the icy bullets of the previous week...not escaping a good case of the Peach Leaf Curl though, as illustrated by the image above...Below, Wildflowers Explode...
Above the last of the Daffodils...Nectar Loving Moth below...
Loving the Greens...Below, see the Baby Broccoli Bud?
Itty Bitty Baby Snap Dragons above...Below, Lone Poppy...
Cherry Blossoms Catching Light above...Below, King Apple with the most unique coloring ....
Pansies above...and below, the tender shoots of the Douglas Fir...
It has been a long time since I last posted. There is no lack of happenings on the homestead front, I've just been unable to log much progress of the great outdoors, with my sorry butt in bed and my knee on ice. I attempted Stay Active Mode today, and I did enjoy (suffered through) a good bit of hiking up and around my hill. The frost damage is significant, but we are not alone in our crisis. The Sacramento River Valley, and the grape regions to our south, were all hit; the total damages to cherries, grapes, plums and peaches are yet to be known. My apple blossoms were a little singed, but for the most part appear unaffected. For the time being all the grapes are toast, as is the persimmon. About half of the plums either never set, or dropped what did set in the cold. Some plums do tend to bear just every other year.... We have no fruit set on the Greengage, Prune Plums, or the Original Santa Rosa. The New Improved Santa Rosa, Shiro, Golden, Elephant Heart, and the Satsuma, all seem to have set a pretty good crop ! yea! The pears, of course, are in their glory. Their bloom went off without a hitch, and virtually every tree is loaded with infant pears. If you were to plant just one fruit tree in the hills of Humboldt County, and wanted assured success, PLEASE make it a pear! They are non fussy, and reliably productive. They are easy to prune too, as you just basically maintain shape, and have no insane 2 day prune job, cutting back the endless new growth, like that of the apple or plum. More Later...enjoy. Jj

5 comments:

Kym said...

The red clover photo is especially delightful! And I didn't know about bee fidelity to one flower type. I'll have to pay attention.

jojo roxx said...

The red clover photo was my personal favorite as well....

kaivalya said...

my new love are lilacs... I just pitched yeast into a 2 gallon batch of lilac wine. Hopefully it'll be tasty with a couple ice cubes come mid-July.

Headwrapper said...

Lilacs are in full bloom in my yard a foot or two from where I now sit, I think you may have planted them, or maybe Avi :~)

jojo roxx said...

Lilacs do very well, and are amazingly drought tolerant around here - once they are established. They are an acid loving plant, so coffee grounds and other acid heavy fertilizers are good for them..Lilac wine sounds heavenly..