Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Lesson in Walnuts

We have actually had a spring this year with warm weather interspersed with rain and cold (for us) weather. Living in a heavily agricultural area, this is a true blessing. The birds and bees are happy and busy while plants are growing and producing. When fruit trees bloom, we enjoy their magnificence. When walnut trees bloom, they tend to go unnoticed. They have no beautiful colors but if you know what to look for, you can see God's hand in awesome ways.


We have Chandler Walnuts, which are among the last variety to break dormancy each year. The first thing that appears on a walnut tree after a winter of sleep, are catkins.
Catkins are the male part of the production in walnuts. They first appear as the long green part you see here...as the pollen is released from the catkin, it dries and turns dark...you can see the varying colors here. Walnuts are self pollinating, which means as the catkin opens it releases its pollen and relies on wind to pollinate the tiny flowers in the tree. (Bees do enjoy the deliciousness as well)



Here you can see the baby walnuts that are beginning to form...


Once the catkins have had a chance to perform their magic, leaves will appear.






Notice the walnuts in the back of this photo compared to ours in the foreground. The walnuts across the road are a much earlier variety and are in full leaf. Also, note the dark covering on the ground in our orchard...those are the dried catkins after their job is done...




...hopefully a job well done...they represent 3 future college educations.


3 comments:

Farmchick said...

I hope they produce well!

alicia said...

I do hope they produce well for you! I drive my a walnut orchard weekly over here and he calls it his grandkids' inheritance. ;) Something special in those unassuming trees...

Twisted Fencepost said...

I am hoping they produce in abundance this, and every year!