Spring came late to Michigan this year. Despite a fairly mild winter, we trudged along in cold, gray mud until May. And even early may was cool and dreary.
But May in Michigan is also Blossom Time. My home state is covered in orchards – apple, cherry, peach, and a few others. In the Spring, they burst unto magnificent glory, covered with blossoms. There is even a Blossom Festival in the Southwest corner of the state, dating back a hundred years to the tradition of the Blessing of the Blossoms. This may be because, while we grow excellent fruit, Blossom Time in Michigan is a little chancy. A late frost can damage the blossoms and result in a poor harvest – which happened just a couple years ago.
This year, however, it was glorious.
Row upon row of frilly floral confections. These are apple trees, if you’re keeping score. The blossoms, individually, are pink, but in a mass, tend to look white. Cherry blossoms tend to be more deeply pink, thought still appear much paler en masse.
I made my husband pull over so I could take pictures at this lovely little orchard somewhere in Van Buren County. It was an out-of-the-way spot, though these orchards are obviously pretty young. You can tell by the small trees, and the close spacing. These trees will produce earlier in their lifespan than the larger ones, and their apples can be picked without ladders or other special equipment. There was a derelict, old orchard not far away, but I opted not to press my luck and ask my husband to stop again. Besides, the light was fading.
Still, that last golden haze was enough for me to sneak up on a few unsuspecting blooms for a close-up.
After all, my own little trees are just apple twigs as yet, and didn’t bloom at all yet this year. So I happily romped around the edge of the orchard (being careful not to actually trespass – some of the trees are quite close to the road), and snapped away.
All the while, strains of “Cherry Pink and Appleblossom White” ran through my head. I had to work at not mambo-ing between the rows. The girls were with us, and not really up for the sorts of crowds to be found at Blossom Fest, so we contented ourselves with our little blossom drive.
On the way home, I reached into my bag and got out my sketchbook. Because this much pink needed to be a baby quilt. When I actually pulled fabrics, I ended up going with more coral pinks, because they’re just more available right now. Getting a range of pinks that run on the fuscia tone is quite a bit more difficult, unless one wants Princess, Barbie, or baby prints. Still, I like how things turned out. What do you think? Would you like to see a pattern for this one?