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Mother Nature’s sweet intoxicating perfume: Almond blossoms

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POSTED February 26, 2009 5:24 a.m.
The air Wednesday morning carried nature’s perfume – the scent of blooming almonds – on a gentle breeze.

I can’t think of a better way to awaken from a late winter slumber.

It’s the end of February. Let Capistrano have its swallows. Manteca, Ripon and Escalon have almond blossoms.

Mother Nature’s clock is waking up almond trees from hibernation. In the next few days, thousands upon thousands of acres will burst with delicate white and pink blossoms. All the word will be abuzz as bees take to the skies.

Soon hundreds of other plants, trees, and flowers will bloom. None however can hold a candle to the grace and sweet scent of the almonds.

Everywhere you look from not-so-high vantage points are almond blossoms - freeway overpasses to two-story homes near the edge of town. You can’t miss the almonds whether you head east, north, south or west out of Manteca, Ripon, or Escalon. They’re everywhere.

What better way to shake the gray starkness of winter that the valley is often wrapped in. The tule fog season is coming to an end as the temperatures start rising.

Not venturing out into the countryside the next few days is akin to cheating yourself of the chance to see nature in all of its regal glory. Take time Saturday before rainy weather returns. Drive down Jack Tone with the windows down. Walk along Union Road north or south of Manteca at the edge of the city limits. Bicycle down side roads out of Manteca and west of Ripon – Veritas, Tinnin, Sedan, Brady, Fig, and Frederick to name a few.

You’ll have plenty of time in the coming months to slow down and smell the roses. The sweet scent of almond blossoms are only here for a handful of glorious days. The experience is enough to see you through drudgery in the coming days by warming your soul.

It is a scent that you’ll judge everything else by – Dior, Chanel No. 5, and the other perfumes that can’t match the intoxicating aroma worn by the most majestic woman around – Mother Nature.

Just over a week ago the almond trees were bare, skeletons against a winter sky. A week from now, blotches of green will start appearing everywhere among branches as the most magical snowfall on earth starts – gently falling almond blossoms.

Sierra snow chills. South County snow caresses the senses.

The almond blossoms serve to mark the end of winter and the start of spring. Leave the cold thoughts of fear and self-doubt that dwell in your heart in the dreariness of winter behind. The world is going through rebirth.

We have our dark days – economic uncertainty, war, sickness, death, and cruelty - much like Mother Nature has drought, fire, earthquake, floods, and other catastrophes, Nature still endures. And so will we.

Hope does indeed spring eternal each February.

Remember that life is cyclical.

The dark days of winter always give way to sweeter and warmer times

If you doubt that, just take a walk along the edge of an almond orchard.
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