Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bloom is beginning to wind down in most orchards. The color green is appearing more each day as petals fall and leaves begin to expand. The trees here with the least amount of bloom are Nonpareil and the still-blooming variety is Wood Colony.

In both of these photographs the sky is bright blue. We have enjoyed a run of fantastic weather for bloom with sunny warm days. The forecast is for several days of rain beginning today. No one is complaining. We have had time to set a crop and California desperately needs the water.

Friday, February 21, 2014


This bee is focused on collecting pollen and was oblivious to my camera.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Petal Fall ?
Every year brings something new to ponder. On a very widespread basis, I am seeing petals falling before the trees have reached full bloom. Why this is happening and what it means are unanswered questions at this time.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

 Almonds are part of the Rose family of plants (Rosaceae).  This year almond farmers are getting millions of dozens of roses for Valentines day!
Almond "Roses"

Working Bee
14 Feb 2014
This picture is of the same orchard that I photographed 2 and 4 days ago. Bloom is moving right along here. Good bee activity. Moderate temperatures.

This is another orchard also photographed on Feb. 14. There is a lot of variation between orchards as far as bloom timing this year.  Sometimes orchards all seem to "pop" at once but not this year.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Feb 10, 2014
  What a Difference a Day Makes!

Well, OK, actually two days. These two pictures were taken about 48 hours apart so you can see that bloom progresses rapidly when the weather is warm. This is also a young orchard exhibiting "youthful vigor". It is a few days ahead of our older orchards.

Feb 12, 2014

Here are rows very close to the previous photo and of the same two varieties, Nonpareil (most blossoms) and Fritz. Nice day today, the bees were very active. I'm sure each of the few open blossoms was visited several times.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First Fog of Winter 2013-14
The rain we had over the last week or so (only about 1") has provided some badly needed drought relief and has set up conditions for our first fog of winter. Typically November and December are our foggy months.

Note that bloom is still a week or so away.

Monday, February 10, 2014

26 Feb 2013
 This image was taken almost one year ago on Feb 26, 2013. The bud development looks similar to the next image taken today, Feb. 10, 2014.

It appears that this year the bloom will be about two weeks earlier than it was last year.

Earlier bloom timing can mean more risk of frost.
10 Feb 2014

The bees are in place and appear anxious for the blossom festivities to be underway.