Central California’s Blossom Trail

Almond orchard in spring bloom, central California

Almond orchard in spring bloom, central California

For Valley people, February and early March is a special time of year, that time between the cold fog and the amazing heat of summer. it’s suddenly spring with blue skies and wild floral displays.  It’s amazing how fast blossom time sneaks up on us; but careful observers could see bud swell beginning a month ago, and now, the trees are starting their year, heading for full bloom.  The white blossoms of the almonds are out in force in Fresno county, and the pinks of the stone fruit are just beginning to color the trees.  It’s all encouraged by an unusually warm February with bright blue skies after a short morning fog session.

Of course, where you are located makes a difference on what’s currently in bloom.  It also affects when your blossom season will begin.  Here in the central valley the blooms start at the southern passes then roll their way north,  with waves of colorful bursts of flowers.  Usually, nuts apples and plums are white blossoms; you can tell the trees apart by their height – nut trees grow tall, fruit trees are kept short and their tops are cut flat.   The plum trees have dark wood.   The stone fruits – peaches, nectarines, and cherries – usually are pink to red, but sometimes white with pink highlights.  The blossom season ends with the late bloomers – like cherries.  I’ve always thought it was odd that cherries were among the last to bloom, but among the earliest to get ripe.  That’s just one of the mysteries of nature.

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Fresno County created their blossom trail almost 30 years ago and it’s turned into quite the event.  Today there’s a Blossom Trail bike ride, a car show, 10 K run, festivals, and art shows.  The trail has become a family tradition as we  reconnect with our agricultural roots and revisit the uniquely valley places and institutions we’ve come to love here, during this very beautiful time of year – spring.

So tell your town friends to come on out and reconnect with Ag.

Previously published on The Western View by AgNet West.

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