Orange blossoms

March 11, 2007

In the Phoenix area, the citrus has begun to bloom. In the early morning and at dusk, the perfume of these blossoms infuses the atmosphere with sweetness. The scent lacks the acidity of the oranges, lemons, and grapefruit themselves; it is lighter yet not exactly delicate.

All of us have the sniffles. Many people claim that they are allergic to the orange pollen, but this is not so–the pollen is generally not allergenic. But other things are blooming now, too. These are what have us sneezing.

One of my favorite authors is John McPhee. He wrote a magistral book called Oranges in 1967. In it, he writes:

An orange grown in Florida usually has a thin and tightly fitting skin, and it is also heavy with juice. Californians say that if you want to eat a Florida orange you have to get into a bathtub first. California oranges are light in weight and have thick skins that break easily and come off in hunks. The flesh inside is marvelously sweet, and the segments almost separate themselves. In Florida, it is said that you can run over a California orange with a 10-ton truck and not even wet the pavement.

I can’t really compare Arizona oranges, except to say that their blossoms are heavenly.

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6 Responses to “Orange blossoms”

  1. Evonne Says:

    I can not even imagine what it would be like to wake to the smell of orange blossoms. But I know it would be good. Enjoy!

  2. adan Says:

    Hi, I’m getting thirsty just reading this….

  3. Liz Says:

    Actually it is the olive trees that cause the allegic reaction, but it seems like the orange blossoms since they bloom at the same time. Lots of olive trees were removed when this was learned more than twenty years ago, long before you came to the desert.

  4. sheepdays Says:

    I didn’t know that about the olive trees. They’ve been replanting them down in Queen Creek–have you seen the news about the olive oil press down there?

  5. Liz Says:

    Yes, I have. That’s good that they aren’t being destroyed. How long before Queen Creek’s new residents decide they don’t like them and demand their removal, like the people who objected to the smell of the dairy farms in Gilbert. Good grief!When Gary and I first moved here there were so many orange groves east of town and now they are gone, too. The trees that are left are mainly privately owned ones in people’s yards. Gary once tried to eat a decorative orage when we first moved here. Not good. I hear they are good for preserves.

  6. Kryna Says:

    I didn’t know that about orange pollen. Interesting.


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