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Perfect Time To Go ‘Shooting’ In The Almond Orchards


209 Living Correspondent

When “living” snow comes out of the almond orchards in February, the magical photogenic scenery also brings out the avid photographer in many camera enthusiasts.

I readily admit I am one of them.

Hundreds of acres of the nut-bearing trees – which produce San Joaquin County’s top commodity in value, more than $500 million in 2018 – are transformed into a carpet of fragrant snow that last just a few days at this time of the year. Professional photographers and trigger-happy snap shooters alike both come out to capture this unique nature’s beauty in the valley. This photo-safari experience offers endless artistic possibilities, whether it be close-ups of buds and blooms or bees feeding on the pollens, farmers spraying the blossoms to prevent rotting, and pruning the branches while the trees are in bloom. That’s to thin the branches and to give the orchards a “clean” look.

Mother Nature is unpredictable, resulting in one year’s blooming season shorter than others due to wind and rain. This is information that may be important to anyone planning to capture the orchards at their blooming peak.

If you’re zooming into close-ups of bees on the flowers, near the beehive boxes, there’s just one thing to remember: watch out for the stinging pollinators that might mistake your hair for a pollen source. I know from experience, having been stung once or twice.

This week is a perfect time to grab cameras – or cell phones! – and head out into the blooming orchards.