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Redbuds, bees welcome first day of spring

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Redbuds, bees welcome first day of spring

A black carpenter bee hops happily from one pink flower to another among the half-dozen redbud trees on the south side of the Manteca Public Library on Wednesday.

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED March 20, 2014 1:19 a.m.

Many harbingers of spring have come and gone.

In downtown Manteca, one that never fails to announce the coming of spring is the very photogenic shocking-pink redbud surrounded by towering deciduous and evergreen trees at Wilson Park behind the Post Office. The warm weather in February awakened the blossoms, and by the end of the month the tree wore its annual floral crown that never fails to brighten up this corner of the small shady park.

But like the almond trees in the orchards in and around Manteca, the Wilson Park redbud’s blooming period depends on the whim of Mother Nature. The recent blessing of rain accompanied by strong winds easily dispatched the delicate blossoms from the trees in a confetti of feather-weight petals that soon formed a transitory carpet on the ground. Fortunately, there’s plenty of color left in the downtown district enough to attract nature-loving residents. All you have to do is turn your attention to the Manteca Public Library across the street. There you’ll see running along the entire south side of the building facing Library Park a row of redbuds in peak bloom. The piles of deep pink blossoms and buds drew a lot of attention from library patrons while waiting for the doors to open during the noon hour. One visitor “oohed” and “aahed” over the delicate flowers before taking in their fragrance.

Fortunately for this library patron, a giant black carpenter bee and a host of honeybees were busy in the other plants and trees, far enough not to scare any two-legged admirer. At the foot of the half-dozen redbuds were equally colorful ground-hugging plants that included the bottlebrush with their red blossoms also in bloom.

The redbuds and the groundcovers were all part of the re-landscaping Arbor Day project done to this side of the library by the Manteca Garden Club about two years ago. The group is also responsible for some of the landscaping improvements on the Center Street side of the library, as well as some parts of the expanded and improved Library Park.

Warmer weather permitting, the redbuds should remain in bloom for several days more after today’s first day of spring.

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