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Crab Apples in Bloom
March 14, 2004

Every spring we have an uncommon and beautiful event close to home. Perhaps this occurs elsewhere in the state, but I've yet to hear about it. I'm talking about the blooming of hundreds of (maybe even over a thousand?) trees in an area the locals call Van Alma. It almost looks like snow when they're in full bloom. It's easy to see this show - just travel down the five-mile stretch of I-40 between I-540 South at Van Buren and I-540 North at Alma. I’m not at all sure what kind of trees these are, but I’m calling them crab apples because they have a lot of the right characteristics - thorny branches, showy flowers, little apples that form in the summer. I don't know how these trees got started - I've noticed them for 15 years - but obviously they've spread on their own, with the help of the birds I assume.
I stopped to shoot some pictures of them on my way home from yet another visit to the High Bank Twins waterfalls this morning. It will be impossible to get a decent picture of these falls once the leaves come out, which is coming real soon. Although my rain gauge said we'd only received three tenths of an inch Saturday night, I thought maybe the falls would be running if I got there soon enough after the rain. Well, the falls weren't running much, but since I was there wanted to see what was upstream of the little waterfall I photographed January 25th.
I found a long water slide with a pretty little 9-foot waterfall above it. This thing was going pretty good considering the amount of rainfall recently. And when I compare it to the other waterfalls I saw this morning - the twins, the falls behind Turner Bend Store, and Pig Trail Falls, this one easily had the best flow.
This afternoon we all went for a little drive to get out of the house. The conditions looked right for a pretty sunset so I headed for White Rock. As we were driving by a pasture at one point on the trip, Grant, who just turned four, asked “Dad, are those cows or bears?”
We were running about 10 minutes late and we got to see the bright orange sun sink behind the mountains while we we still half a mile from the parking area. I was kicking myself for not leaving earlier because the sun was just perfect for shooting pictures. I went ahead and ran down to the bluff and got a few shots of the clouds and mountains while Stacey and the boys walked down to the shelter overlook. They're not as accustomed to the cool air and actually got cold and waited for me in the truck.
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