I recently visited the San Joaquin Valley in Central California (near Fresno) to photograph the hundreds of acres dedicated to fruit orchards known as “The Blossom Trail”. Other than a small pack of adorable little ‘watch dogs’, the only company I had was the chirping birds and industrious bees. It was one of the prettiest mornings I can remember… the fragrance of honey in the air and flower petals covering the floor. Not to get sappy, but I felt grateful to be able to sit under the peach and nectarine trees admiring the morning light shining through them. I hope you, too, enjoy the first signs of spring wherever you are.
These beautiful orchards of white blossoms are almond and plum trees:
Liz Hudson of the local Hudson Farms said the bloom has been very good this year which means potentially large crops. It’s too soon to know how the drought is affecting them, but she has been irrigating through the winter over the last two years to ensure water is in the soil profile when the trees came out of dormancy. I wish them the best of luck and abundant crops!
Helpful information if you plan to visit the Blossom Trail:
Peak bloom typically happens in late February to early March. The Blossom Trail tourism website will provide updates and if you click “Pictures” you can see current status of the trees. Realize that not every orchard is progressing at the same pace, so the amount of blooms are going to vary.Stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Selma Kingsburg by Marriott, located just 9 minutes from the trail. Nice rooms, free parking, good breakfast and wifi.Best light for photography is 7am to 11am and again after 4pm.It’s not necessary to bring food because you’ll pass through at least three towns which have an array of dining options from Denny’s to fast food and grocery stores.You’ll see several orange groves within the blossom trail itself without venturing onto the ‘Orange Blossom Trail’, though I read that the Orange Blossom Trail is great.Be careful on the roads. In my experience cars here go very fast so be extra safe when pulling over to see the blossoms.
I’m sending you all sunshine and best wishes for a beautiful spring season! Much thanks to Katie Rodgers of the Fresno County Farm Bureau and Liz Hudson of Hudson Farms in Sanger for their help identifying these trees.