It’s the season for all photographers and “lookie loos” to descend on almond orchards seeking beauty. However, due to a couple of good wind storms, one hard enough to topple trees and take off roofs, the beautiful blossoms are hard to find.

We photographers respect the orchards and do not go into them. We photograph from the roads, using long lenses. When I saw that one farm was opening their orchard (for a small fee) for us to walk through, Ray and I made a plan to go there. We knew it was risky given the winds we had and were still having that day, but we went anyway. This farm was outside of Davis and closer than those in Capay Valley.

It was as we thought. Not only were the blossoms blown off the trees, they were blown off the ground. In years past, fallen blossoms looked like snow. We talked to the orchard owner who said the situation was dire. Not only did she sell tickets for people to come in, but also hired bees from bee keepers to pollenate the blossoms. Cost and revenue loss. Not totally bare, some blossoms held on.

Here’s a picture taken in 2017 to give you some idea at how full the trees can get. Notice the blossoms on the ground.

A little further down the road we found a younger orchard, shorter trees, that seemed to withstand the wind better.

Here are some other almond blossom images taken on this trip.

We did find the beginnings of a mustard field.

So where have all the blossoms gone? Mother Nature has control over that! Next year!

21 thoughts on “Where have all the blossoms gone? Devastated almond orchards

  1. That’s a shame that the blooms were all gone, but yeah, next year. Now you know about this place, hopefully they will do the same next year. Great set of images though.

  2. Amazing! Farming is a tough business with difficulties such as this. I understand that the rise in vegans and the demand for almond milk has generated a growth in almond orchards . I guess now if it is in short supply the price will go up.

  3. It’s tough on that first orchard owner but I guess all farming is like that, susceptible to the weather 😦 I’m glad you were able to find such a pretty alternative to photograph and share with us. It’s a little early for blossom here so it’s nice to have the treat of seeing yours πŸ™‚

  4. I think almond orchards are just beautiful, but they also need so much water, and in our increasingly dry climate, I wonder if they can be justified. Farming is a very tough business, and a gamble so much of the time, I cannot help but wonder how long we can hold out without really changing our eating habits as well as our farming habits. But enough philosophy – I really like this series, as well as the insights into the plight of the almond grower in NorCal. Flowers in the spring, especially in orchards, is such a joyful find. Nice work!

  5. Thank you -N! I do think we have human made problems facing us that are more serious than what nature throws at us. I wonder what type of world we’re leaving to our children.

  6. Sad to see there is a financial impact to the loss of those blossoms. Selfish me was thinking only of the photographic impact. I was reminded of outings of my own to capture fall colors only to find all the leaves on the ground from a recent wind storm.

  7. Yes, John, there’s always a money side to things. I also thought of my chances to get good photos too. Having the owner sitting there and engaging her in conversation opened our eyes.

  8. The almond blossom are beautiful. Last year we lost a lot of apple blossom to wind and late frost here in the west of Ireland. Some of these climate changes we are experiencing are attributed to climate change. Our weather here is much more unpredictable than it was.

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