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  • Julia Preminger Photography

The Secret Life of Apple Trees

There is a small apple tree behind our house, changing day by day, and always nourishing many different creatures with its beauty, nectar, or fruits. Even in winter, its graceful, bare limbs give loveliness to the stark landscape. An opulent show of blossoms in spring fills the air with fragrance that attracts swarms of humming bumble bees. Did you know that bumble bees do a special kind of pollination called buzz pollination? You may have noticed that there is a buzzing sound but also a more high-pitched sound like a little person talking🥰 This incredible PBS video explains it. (Warning dear readers, this video mentions the reproductive life of plants and that bees help them out. 🥰 )


When the fruit develops, cows and white-tailed deer start to visit the tree. They seem willing to eat the fruit even before it is ripe, searching the ground under the tree first to see if there is easy eating, but we have also seen cows and the deer standing on their hind legs to get to higher fruit still in the tree. Two families of deer came running during a big wind storm to see if there were new apples on the ground. They understood that the wind would knock some fruit to the ground. It was a reminder of the beautiful interconnectedness of nature.


The cows have a bolder approach. They seem to be just as happy to eat the leaves and branches as the fruit. Learn more about compassionate cow care.

Eventually, a human being comes to pick the fruit but leaves enough for our four-legged friends to continue to enjoy.

My favorite time to photograph the tree is in the early morning or on a cloudy day when the light is soft or whenever there is some excitement beneath its boughs. I have a good view of it from my window.


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