|Wonderful Pomegranate in Full Bloom|
It's Memorial Day Monday at the Bird Ranch and the Show is on full display. It happens at this point every year it seems. Some years the show is a little better than others. This happens to be one of "them years." The Show is on.
I am, of course, referring to the show that our pomegranate tree is putting on. Largely hidden from the rest of the world, our four year old Wonderful Pomegranate is erupting with one of the most incredible and brilliant flower displays I've ever seen.
|A Colorful Flower Show|
Why did I stick this thing in a side yard? Why am I that dumb? While I knew that I wanted a pomegranate tree in the fruit salad Bird Back 40 collection, based upon my enjoyment of them as a child, I had forgotten the rather brilliant display this tree had given me as a child all those years ago in mid-1970's Modesto.
The tree that inspired me all those years ago is still alive and kicking, believe it or not. Located in front of a Norwegian Avenue home near what used to be an old-style A&W drive-in restaurant, it is well manicured and is as productive as ever. Hello old friend. It's good to see you again.
|A Native California Pollinator|
Given another chance? I would have stuck the Santa Rosa plum tree in the side yard and put the showy pomegranate out front.
This is going to be the heaviest year yet for pomegranate production thanks to some uber-pollination efforts that are currently taking place. A close examination of this tree yields the discovery of multiple pollinators. I spotted several of the Halictus species, aka sweat bees, just going to town on the coral red flowers and bright yellow stamens. The tree is very close to a mason bee home that I received as a gift several years ago, and they were out in abundance as well.
|Hummingbird in Flight: Center Right|
Honeybees also could not resist the lure and aroma of these tempting flowers, many of which have been transformed into small pomegranates. And just when I thought the show couldn't get any more diverse, in dropped a neighborhood hummingbird for a sweet drink of pomegranate flower nectar. He quickly zoomed away before I could get a proper closeup, but he's clearly visible in the one photo I managed to snap.
Short and sweet? I love the Show. This tree literally hums with life and production during the spring. Lenny, the Giant Maine Coon Kitten, enjoys the shade it provides below. It also serves as a base from where he can conduct a surprise charge and attack against the unsuspecting dog, aka, Ultimate Digging Machine.
|Heavy Crop Now Forming|
The pomegranates that are now forming will grow and add size and girth through the summer months. When they turn a glossy dark red in the fall, usually late October, it's time to harvest. I've learned, through experience, that harvest season is fairly quick. You can't allow pomegranates to hang on a tree like citrus. If they are not harvested quickly, they will split and spoil easily.
This means lots of gifts for family, friends and neighbors. It also means lots of pomegranate juice, which is a wonderful addition to freshly-squeezed lemonade. Pomegranates are also great for fresh eating, though they can be messy. Even after 40 years, nobody has quite discovered how to take the mess out of pomegranates. It's enough to make any mother of an eight year old pomegranate crazed boy cringe in terror.
It's pomegranate season. The show is on.