Sunday, March 25, 2012

Part I: The Spring Tree

Side Note:  If you have read my two previous blogs, you will begin to see a theme running through them. Yes, there will always be something written about my backyard, but the term "backyard" could also be a metaphor for God's Creations (His Backyard).  The blog could also be about my travels (the backyard of another location) or my personal views about recent events. There may be a link to a Bible verse, or I may refer to an issue that has become controversial or political, but this will not be a political blog. This blog is intended to provide some beautiful pictures of the world around us, some helpful hints, and occasionally some thought provoking ideas or questions.

THIS Backyard in Motion blog will be the first of four that I will write about trees. Part 1 will be about the spring tree, and as you may have guessed, the next blog will be about the summer tree.

Genesis 2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil, every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food.  

Fruit Trees:
My husband and I are learning how to prune fruit trees.  We have trimmed a few fruit trees in the past, but we didn't know how to prune a mature fruit tree.  Our small orchard is mature and has been left unattended for a few years. So, we studied some books written by the professionals to learn the proper techniques of pruning.  I think we are getting the idea, but once a mature tree has grown out of control, the best way to prune is "drastically."  We pruned all of the trees, but the apple trees received the most drastic cuts.Our trees do look much better after some serious pruning, but we'll have to be patient and wait longer for the next good crop. It may take two years to produce fruit again, but eventually the trees will be healthier and reward us with beautiful apples.

The other fruit trees in our orchard did not need such drastic pruning, so we should get a good crop of pears, apricots, and Italian prunes.  A few days ago, the warm spring day encouraged the apricot flowers to bloom. Apricot flowers are light pink, delicate, and fragrant. They are lovely to behold, and very attractive to honey bees.  At first, a few bees will leave their hives in search of a good location for nectar and pollen, the sweet syrup and powdery "gold" that they need to produce honey.  Yesterday I noticed that the bees had found our trees. And then in just one day there was a tree full of bees buzzing about, and pollinating from flower to flower.

Pine Trees:
In our backyard there is a row of pine trees that has grown together to create what seems like one big tree. This pine grove has become a place for many birds to gather. They sing their songs, fly about and then land on the bird feeders to nibble on a few nuts and grains before they fly off again. When a gust of wind blows through the trees, the sound reminds me of  gentle ocean waves rolling up onto the sandy shore, or a mild breeze that blows through a dense redwood forest along the coast of California. This is now my home and I love Idaho, but the memories of California when I was a child and a young mother, will always be precious to me.

Blue Spruce:
Looking out of my front room window, I am blessed everyday with the activities that have graced my big spruce tree with busy critter life.  The dense evergreen provides shelter for many variety of birds: quail, doves, nuthatches, and finches  Now that it is spring, the little finches are often seen carrying twigs and grass to the spruce tree.  They land on a tip of a branch, and then disappear into the darkness of the tree.  The finches that have chosen this tree for their home, are busy creating an intricately woven nest to protect the new generation of finches. I usually see the quail in the morning, one-by-one hopping out of the tree to get ready to find food for the day. During the day, they can be seen scratching for food under the bird feeders or walking in the meadow of wild grasses near our home.  At dusk the quail return to the big spruce once again to roost for the evening.  The doves will sometimes sit on a branch, but generally they sit under the tree for shelter or if they sense danger. Our Big Blue Spruce is a tree teaming with life.

I am reminded every day that God provides food and shelter for the least of us.  How much more has he provided for my family and for me!

On this amazingly lovely and warm Sunday afternoon, the cacophony of sounds...alive and peaceful...remind me that the warmer days of  spring are here to stay.

God Bless,

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