Spring is definitely in the air. There was some question about that a couple of weekends ago, when the heavenly blue spring sky filled with dark menacing looking clouds from a storm that “blew” into town suddenly.
Funny thing about the desert… you always know when a storm is coming in. One minute, the air can be still and tree branches motionless. Then, the next minute, everything is being blasted and thrashed about violently by intense winds. Sometimes a storm is just passing by or it may decide to stay for a day or two and bring with it much-needed rain.
Usually I agree that rain in the desert is a really good thing, it’s just not on my top 10 list of things that would make me feel better right now. Because I’ve been feeling so under the weather lately, the spring-time weather was a welcome treat and I did not find any comfort in the gloomy rainy weather that was about to descend upon us. To top off the bleakness of this unwelcome storm, this illness I’ve had for well over a month decided to “kick-into-gear” again.
Along with the storm, the wacky virus was back big time wreaking havoc with my upper respiratory system (again). I actually went through an entire box of tissues that weekend. It’s a good thing the local stores were fully stocked. After seeing my primary care physician (who was of little help), I went to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who determined I have severe sinusitis and asthmatic bronchitis and put me on another course of antibiotics and prescribed an inhaler. Please keep me in your prayers for a quick recovery. Until I get this “thing” under control and back to my normal-self, I will probably only post on my blog 1-2 times each week. Thanks for understanding.
Spring Time in the Orchard
In my last post, I briefly mentioned my fruit tree orchard. Despite being sick, I’ve managed to get outside just enough to keep my trees healthy and happy (basically making sure they get watered). Fortunately, hubby and I were able to finish up all of our winter tasks in our orchard just before our lives came to a sudden halt due to this virus.
I took the photo (above) during one of our volunteer days at the Orchard in January. The weather was unusually warm for this time of year, and as a result, these “early season” Peach trees started blooming earlier then expected. When fruit tree flowers emerge too early in the season, depending on the variety, there is a risk of losing that season’s fruit if another frost were to occur. Early or not, it was a real treat to walk in the orchard taking in such a stunning sight. And the honey bees! The trees were covered with them busily tending to their daily task of pollinating fruit trees and gathering pollen for their fellow workers back at the hive.
In my own orchard, I like to take a stroll through the trees while I water and closely inspect each tree to make sure everything is as it should be and pests are under control. During last week’s routine watering, I began my “observation stroll” and made a happy discovery. Several of my fruit trees have teeny tiny fruit on them 🙂 Our trees have been in the ground for a little over 2 years now, so I expected there to be very little fruit, if any this year. Last season, we harvested one small apple from our Golden Dorsett Apple tree. It was definitely a surprise and completely unexpected.
The Golden Dorsett Apple is a great apple tree for the desert. It’s considered an early apple and is harvested here in Southern Nevada around early July. The apple’s fruit starts out a pleasing pink/red color (see above) and turns golden-yellow with a slight red blush when it is close to harvest time.
After successfully picking the apple from the tree, I did a happy dance all the way into the house (yeah, I know) then gently placed the apple in the refrigerator fruit/veggie drawer where it sat undisturbed for a couple of weeks. Okay, I did sneak into the refrigerator every few days or so to pick it up and admire it – being my first homegrown apple and all. The natural next step… slice the pretty little apple into, well, bite size pieces and chow down. To our surprise, the little gem tasted pretty good. As far as this year’s harvest, it’s hard to say if we’ll have more than one apple. All I know is last year, my Golden Dorsett Apple had just a couple of flower clusters. This year, the tree is simply covered with flowers!
For the rest of my orchard, most of my other fruit trees flowers have gone down for the count and as a result, teeny tiny fruit have begun to emerge.
Here’s the run down of our trees with fruit (as she says with school girlish excitement – I know… I’m easily humored)…
This tree has about eight or so fuzzy fruit! I’m so pleased with the volume of fruit on this tree, but more than likely I’ll thin out most of the fruit to ensure the tree’s energy remains focused on growth (roots, branches, etc.) rather than on growing tons of fruit. Next year, I can let the tree go crazy growing fruit. Here’s a link if you’d like to check out the details on this fruit tree: http://www.davewilson.com/br40/br40_trees/aprium.html
There is only a couple of fruit on our Flavor Queen Pluot tree. It’s just adorable – it’s about the size of a small pea. Pluots are a cross between a Plum and an Apricot (predominantly plum). The sugar content is high in these fruits, and when ripe, are as sweet as candy. MMMMMMMM. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://www.davewilson.com/br40/br40_trees/pluot.html
This tree had a ton more flowers than the Flavor Queen Pluot and I can see dozens of little fruit forming. Again, I may need to thin out fruit.
The May Pride Peach is one of the grafts on my multi-peach tree. There are a total of four different peach trees grafted onto this one tree – Desert Gold, May Pride, Eva’s Pride and Mid-Pride. Basically the tree is called a 4-in-1 (originally it was only supposed to be a 3-in-1, but we lucked out and received a tree with the extra graft). The May Pride Peach is the only one with fruit (about six fruit total). I may thin the fruit down to only three – we’ll see. Here’s more info: http://www.davewilson.com/br40/br40_trees/peaches.html
My fig is also showing signs of fruit emerging. Last fall, my fig tree had at least a couple dozen fruit on it, but they came so late in the season that when the cold hit, the fruit never grew beyond a couple of inches then became inedible and hard as rocks. I guess my tree is trying to make up for the lost crop 🙂 More info: http://www.davewilson.com/br40/br40_trees/figs.html
I was out briefly watering my trees the other day and discovered that some of my other trees have fruit as well (sorry, no photos yet). My Weeping Santa Rosa Plum, Dorsett Golden Apple, Saturn Peach and Artic Star Nectarine. As for my other fruit trees (Pink Lady Apples, Asian Pears, Almond, Wonderful and Eversweet Pomegranates, Sweet Cherries, and Blenheim Apricot) I’ll have to wait until next year.
Well, it’s about time to sign off, so I’ll leave you with a photo I took at the end of January of a hauntingly beautiful sunset here in Southern Nevada.