Tag Archives: Blossom

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Tina’s theme for Lens-Artists Challenge #105 this week is: SPRING

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter!” –  Jen Selinsky

Some may consider the winter in Southern California as mild because there’s no snow. Usually the temperature doesn’t drop below 40oF. Yet accustomed to the warm climate all my life, this mild winter cold still chills my bones. I find not being motivated to do outdoor activities.

“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.” –  S. Brown

Many of the plants and trees in my garden are perennial that doormat in the winter. The earliest budding appeared on the plum tree. The tiny innocent white buds popped out to sing to me, “Spring is coming.” I made a daily appearance in my garden to search every branch of the plum tree anticipating the delightful blossoms. Within days, the scattered white buds became full covering the entire tree and some popped open the smiling faces. How I wanted them to stay forever!

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“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” –  Gertrude S. Wister

Flowers spark my eyes and warm my heart. During our trip to see my daughter and her family in May 2018 as a Mother’s Day outing, we visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. I wanted to swallow all the beauty of the greenery and vibrant colors and let them forever be alive in me.

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The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden have all been donated by volunteers and interested individuals, or purchased with specially donated funds. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, they provide a magnificent display of color.

“Sometimes the smallest thing takes up the most room in your heart.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The Canada geese and the goslings feast on the grain and graze on the grass. The field by the lake is a haven to raise the young goslings.

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I wrote this poem for my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

In Sync with Spring

Seeds were fallen,

hidden in the soil.

Coldness in the dark

keep them quiet in the ground.

Light and shadow

Gradually shift

to bring the warmth of

sunrays to the earth.

Calling the seeds

to wake up and come forth,

to feel the warm breeze and

smell the fresh air.

Slowly and gracefully

buds pop out,

unfold their petals and

the fragrance they breathe out,

dance joyfully in sync with

spring!

~ ~ ~

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

August 15: Flash Fiction Challenge – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

August 15, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

 

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It was a long, wet, cold winter this year. The surprising news welcome us back from our trip to Hong Kong and Japan in the middle of January. The previous wet winters came and left in a hurry, so I didn’t expect anything different this year.

The rain was persistent and heavy, dropping week after week. It didn’t let the sun come out even for one day. The sky wore a gray cloak in prolonged mourning. For eight weeks, the first thing I did in the morning was to look out the window, checked the color of the sky. There wasn’t any contrast of fluffy white and clear blue. Then I went to the backyard to check on the two plum trees and the clovers on the slope next to the trees. There were scattered white buds on the trees, and yellow spots on the clovers, but the flowers only smiled to the sun. The bees were not there because only the yellow flowers could invite the bees that time of the year. Without the bees, even if there were plum blossoms, there was no promise of any plums in early spring. I repeated the same routine every morning.

By the first week of March, the white plum blossoms formed a party. What a precious sight that my camera couldn’t resist. This protective mom checked every white bud and flower, then checked the yellow clover, and the sign of bees. They must be synchronized, and the conductor of this orchestra is the sun. I counted the number of white pedals got wet and folded and dropped.

A check of the ten-day forecast was in order. There was a glimpse of hope for a clear sky. I would believe it when the sun shows up. And it did in the middle of March. It synchronized all the players.

The plums kept me picking. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!

 

 

First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

“What are we doing with all the plums?”

“We eat them.”

“How many can we eat?”

“As many as we can for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“You picked 475 in two weeks but only ate less than 75. They are getting mushy.”

“I know. I’ll take them to some meetings to give them away.”

“Can we sell them?”

“Are you kidding? How do I do that and who would buy them?”

“What if we can’t give them away fast enough?”

“I’ll find some low sugar plum jam recipes and do my first homemade jam.”

“It sounds like a plan.”

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction, August 15, 2019 – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

Photo Challenge – After the Rain

My plum tree is four years old. In March 2017, the tree was full of blossoms. Thanks to the hard-working bees, we had a prolific harvest in the early summer. I took photos of the plum tree in March this year, the blossoms were scattered. I was puzzling about the difference between the two years. Then I remembered that the rain came late this past winter. The air was still cold in February and early March. As a result, there was not enough sunlight to call out the blossoms. Only after the rain and a couple weeks of warm weather, the blossoms started to appear. The harvest this year may not be as bountiful as last year.

We are thankful for the rain!

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Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rain

 Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

Bees and Butterflies in My Garden – Blossoms to Plums

This post was originally posted on March 11, 2017. I worried about the plum blossoms didn’t get pollinated. I was surprised by the visit of the bees and butterflies. Three months after I wrote this post, I’m happy to report that I got about 400 plums from two plum trees. When I went to my poetry class on Thursday, I took about 100 plums with sandwich size ziploc bags, asked the classmates to take some home. At the end of the class, all the plums were taken.

I love plums because of the fiber content. I would like to dehydrate some plums. I ordered a plum pitting machine to take out the pits. I also found a recipe to use regular oven to dehydrate the plums so that I could keep them longer. All I have to do is put the pitted plums in the oven with 125to135for 12 hours. I’ll check on them every hour. I’ve never done that, so I hope that it will work. I added the photos of the plums at the bottom of this post.

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This is my “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” Week 2 at Haddon Musings.

March 11, 2017

What an exciting week in my garden.

I worried about my plum tree two weeks ago because it was the first tree to blossom after the rain. There was no bee attracting flowers close by the plum tree. I manually pollinated the blossoms with a fine paint brush.

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The plum tree is against the retaining wall. There are different plants on the slope behind the wall. I climbed over the wall to look at the plants. I had some bee attracting plants on the slope last summer.  Right now the whole slope is covered by clovers with fellow flowers. Somehow yellow flowers were not my favorite color. I started pulling them out to expose the ice plants with purple flowers, only to discover that they were dead.

Before I got disappointed, there was a shocking surprise. I saw BEES. The bees hovered over the blanket of sixty feet wide yellow clover flowers. I almost wanted to plug the clovers back into the soil. Then I was thinking how to get some clovers close to the plum tree on the other side of the wall. First, I wanted to take a few photos of the bees.

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Suddenly, I caught the sight of some bees hovering over the plum blossoms also. Oh, how excited I was. I felt like the whole burden just fell off my shoulder. Now I could just leave it to the nature. Let the bees pollinate the plum blossoms.

Yesterday morning as I was having coffee and doing reading in the backyard. I caught another exciting sight of butterflies hopping from flower to flower on the plum tree also.

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How thankful I am for the nature. How delightful I am to see the bees and butterflies in my garden this week.

Post note – June 17, 2017

I’m so happy that the bees and butterflies brought 400 plums to my trees!

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Daily Prompt: Blossom