It was a cloudy day, and windy. Cloudy days are won­der­ful for pho­tograph­ing out­doors because of the even, dif­fused light, but the flow­ers danced in the wind mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to get any­thing but a blur­ry pho­to. Finally, in the ear­ly evening, the wind calmed and the flow­ers rested.

I set up my tri­pod and cam­era, fram­ing the blos­soms on a low­er branch of one of our apple trees. This is an old tree as apple trees go; we have lived with this tree for over 40 years, and it was a few years old already when we moved to the coun­try. Although they can live longer, apple trees like ours typ­i­cal­ly have a 35–45 year lifes­pan. The tree is show­ing its age with its mis­shapen and miss­ing limbs, yet it still flow­ers and sets fruit.

As I stand there dial­ing in the set­tings on my cam­era, the love­ly fra­grance from the blos­soms trig­gers thoughts of times past. I remem­ber our boys climb­ing and play­ing in this tree; if I look close­ly I can still see an old wood­en pul­ley among the branch­es that they used to haul things up into the tree with them. We’ve cut the per­fect forked branch from it to make a sling­shot. We’ve picked up its fall­en fruit and fed them to our don­keys and put them out for the deer. We’ve watched the bees so intent on their work among the blos­soms that you could touch them and they ignored you.

I am star­tled at the sud­den real­iza­tion that we and the tree have shared this place for the major­i­ty of our lives. We are hope­ful that there will be many more sea­sons together.

The Old Apple Tree

“The Old Apple Tree” by Wes Moody. (Click to enlarge.)

  • Wes Moody

    Wes is a retired engi­neer. He and his wife live in rur­al Clark County with their dog and cat. He is a nature and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­ast, and also enjoys hik­ing and play­ing djembe.