Sunday, May 9, 2010

Apple Trees in Bloom

The Rhode Island Greening tree behind the house is now in full bloom. Along with the Prima, and the Shiawassee, it will provide enough apples for a cider pressing this fall, even though the other trees aren't going to blossom very fully this year. The mild winter, with little snow, is probably as much of the reason for the worse than average bloom, but you wouldn't know it from this Greening, one of the stalwart 19th century varieties, used chiefly for baking as well as cider, as it would keep reasonably well in a root cellar for much of the winter and early spring. For comparison's sake here are a couple of photos of the blossoms from the buds that I showed a week ago. The unnamed tree behind the house, first, the same blossom cluster as before:

If you look closely you'll see an insect in the flower to the far left. And here is the Prima, a sea of blossoms, with the cluster pictured last week at the center:

I wasn't idle in the vegetable garden last weekend or this one, but the blossoms are much more spectacular than the routine of planting. Nonetheless, 3 varieties of potatoes, red and yellow onion sets, and various seeds: peas, spinach, lettuce, chard, arugula, pac choi, beets, and Chinese cabbage all are in the ground now and waiting for the warmer weather (as are the apple blossoms). Last week was warm but a front came through yesterday bringing rain and cooling things down by ten to fifteen degrees. Some spots on the mainland--the usual cold spots such as Penobscot--could see frost tonight or tomorrow night, but I think we'll be spared, and the blossoms should be all right. They can stand a bit of light frost anyway, but at temperatures of 28 and below they won't survive.

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