Well, thanks to my bruised rib cage I don’t have any new fitness-related subjects to talk about this morning. I’m going crazy sitting around, but even mild exercise is painful. Yesterday afternoon I tried some light bench presses (it was supposed to be my chest/delts/triceps workout), and it felt like someone was sticking a hot knife in my side.
So this morning I’ll talk about stress relief and fruit trees. 🙂
I’m very excited because many of the fruit trees we planted this past spring are covered with blossoms. The Ponderosa Lemon tree and the Key Lime tree produced hundreds of new blossoms a few weeks ago, but now the Valencia Orange tree has finally joined the party. There are countless blossoms covering the orange tree, and yesterday some of them started to open. The smell of the orange blossoms is amazing, and that wonderful scent will intensify considerably as the rest of the blossoms open.
I can’t wait to enjoy a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice made from oranges that I grew in my own backyard. I really do love living in Florida! 🙂
In the above picture, behind the orange tree you can see one of the giant Ponderosa lemons is almost ready to harvest. Ponderosa lemons taste just like regular lemons, but they are HUGE–some grow to the size of a football! The lemon tree blossomed again a few weeks ago, and most of the new blossoms are now tiny little lemons.
The Key Lime tree (not pictured) also blossomed a few weeks ago, and now there are dozens and dozens of little Key Limes on it. The Key Lime blossoms smell terrific, but their scent is not as strong as the lemon and orange blossoms.
In the far background of the picture is the butterfly garden we planted this past summer. This turned out to be a very worthwhile project, as we now have butterflies flying all around the backyard pretty much all the time. The various flowers and plants also attract bees, but they are not at all aggressive. I’ve spent hours in the middle of the garden shooting pictures and have never been stung. Now that the fruit trees are blossoming, even more butterflies and bees are showing up.
We also have a couple of bird feeders. We see lots of cardinals, tufted tit mice, morning doves, crows and mocking birds out there. Occasionally I’ll see a hawk sitting by the pond or washing in the waterfall, and I also see egret and sandhill cranes flying overhead quite a bit. I love the sort of prehistoric sound that sandhill cranes make. Loki freaks out when the cranes do a low flyby over his yard. 😀
Dragonflies and damselflies breed around the pond (and they lay their eggs in the pond), so in addition to the birds, bees and butterflies we always have numerous dragonflies and damselflies buzzing around. It’s quite entertaining to watch them chase each other and play.
Of course there are dozens of toads and frogs in and around the pond (they will all soon hibernate for the winter), and there are so many lizards running around that it almost looks fake.
I’m really glad that we decided to go the more natural route in the backyard instead of putting in a pool–a natural setting is definitely more our style. Sometimes when I step out back I feel like I’m in a Disney movie or something. 🙂 I can’t exercise right now, and all that pent up energy is pretty stressful. Sitting out back and enjoying the sites and sounds of my own private natural retreat is extremely relaxing and therapeutic. The fruits, herbs and vegetables are a pretty nice bonus, too. 🙂