Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our ‘fur-iends’ from Adventures of the LLB Gang. It’s been another crazy wild weather week including temps in the 80’s and a flash snowstorm on Tuesday. Springtime in the Rockies continues to be all over the map but one that that has been consistent where tulips are concerned. Like many others around Blogville, I’ve noticed they have been more beautiful this year than in the recent past years. The moisture we’ve been receiving lately has no doubt impacted how lovely they are. While I think we’re done with more snow, the next few days are calling for showers-a bit of a treat in the Mile High since we’re more likely to receive snow before rain so this will be a pleasant change of pace.
One early morning dog walk this week highlighted just how pretty tulips have been. With the rising sun behind them, the early light made them look almost transparent. This yard is nothing to write home about but three large clumps of tulips in a fabulous shade of pink along the side yard, one could almost think it’s channeling a “Better Homes & Gardens” landscape.
Even though these tulips are quite pretty, let’s take a look at another beauty that has been blooming, the crabapple tree. As a kid, each street in our neighborhood showcased a different tree on that strip of grass between the street and sidewalk. My family’s designated tree was crabapple and for a couple of weeks in the spring, it was one of the most beautiful streets in the whole area. With this week’s rain and snow, their blooming has been extra spectacular in Denver.
Malus is a genus of apple trees which are small deciduous trees or shrubs that are included in the family Rosaceae and includes the domesticated orchard apple. Other species are commonly known as crabapples, crab apples, crabtrees, or wild apples. The genus is native to the temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere.
These trees are typically 4–12 m (13–39 ft) talI at maturity, with a dense, twiggy crown. Leaves are about 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, alternate, simple, with a serrated margin. The flowers are borne in corymbs, and have five petals, which may be white, pink or red, and are perfect that produce copious amounts of pollen.
Many apples require cross-pollination which are frequently accomplished with the cooperation of bees, which freely visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen. Self-pollination is impossible, thus making these hardworking insects essential.
Several of the species hybridize freely and are a good source of food for butterflies and moths. The fruit is a “globose pome” meaning they are a type of fruit that is produced by flowering plants, varying in size (from 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in) diameter in most of the wild species, to about 6 cm (2.4 in) or even larger in certain cultivated orchard apples. The centre of the fruit contains five carpels arranged star-like, each containing one or two seeds.
There are about 42 to 55 species and natural hybrids with about 25 from China.
Can you see why they’re part of the Rosaceae family? I walk past these trees usually twice a day and they look like gigantic bouquets of roses.They were particularly showy yesterday with clear blue skies highlighting those gorgeous blooms. While some people make crabapple jelly from the fruit, more often they provide food for the neighborhood birds in autumn. Do you have any crabapple trees in your neighborhood?
Norman, Elsa and I hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out and enjoy some of the beauty Mother Nature offers this time of year.
Live, love, bark! 🐾