These pictures aren't as beautiful as yesterday's flowers, but apple orchards and farms are an important part of 'seasons in the valley' too. Farmers have been busy for a month getting out on the fields, and during the past couple of weeks the apple orchards have been in bloom.
These are taken in a friend's small orchard which I've been in many times over the years. I just think the blossoms against the blue sky are beautiful.
The Beaver Valley region is known for it's apple crop, which reflects both the soil available for orchards, and the presence of Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment. Together they moderate the climate slightly, enough to reduce the risk of spring frost. So the area especially in the northern end of the valley has become an important apple production area for Ontario.
On the other hand, the sad looking small trees were not looking good! They suffered a lot of damage from the extremely long and cold winter. There will only be a small crop this year.
A week ago, some of our hayfields looked like this. Now they are decorated with white dandelion seed heads, and in another week or two they'll be green, and haying will start. Hay is the largest crop by acreage around here.
With winter over you also see cattle out on the pastures, at least on the beef farms. This is a herd of Charolais I drove past going to get some wood chips at the local sawmill.
And a lot of fields are looking like this, a grain crop, probably spring wheat, just coming up. Wheat is planted early, as it's a cold weather crop, and can handle some frost.
But other fields are still like this, in this case just lightly chisel plowed to knock down last year's stubble. This field, just down the road has already been seeded (I saw them doing it), but the crop, probably corn, hasn't emerged yet. Corn and soybeans don't handle frost, so they get planted quite late here.
And that's my seasonal update on farming in the valley.