May 21, 2012

rosy apple blossoms


"I asked you," he said, "as a special favor, not to be too flowery. But our poetess . . ." Betsy squirmed and blushed . . . "is not only flowery. Her flowers are the wrong color. I haven't read your story, Betsy, and I don't intend to. The opening sentence is enough for me. He read aloud scornfully:

"Under a tree hung with rosy apple blossoms . . ."

"Rosy apple blossoms! Rosy apple blossoms! Who ever heard of rosy apple blossoms? Apple blossoms, my dear young lady, are not pink. They are white."

Betsy's blushes receded. She turned, in fact, a little pale.

"I think they are pink, Mr. Gaston."

"You think they are pink?" Mr. Gaston glared at her through his thick glasses. "But I know they are white."

"It's the under part of the petals," Betsy said falteringly. "They're pinkish, sort of."

"Pinkish, sort of!" Mr. Gaston mocked.

Betsy looked around a little wildly. Joe Willard was staring out the window. She brought her gaze back to Mr. Gaston stubbornly. "We had lots of apple trees when we lived up on Hill Street. I always liked to look at them in May."

"You should have examined them accurately. You would have found that they are white."

"But they aren't white." Betsy was near tears, but it was from anger.

"They must have been peach trees," Mr. Gaston said.

"They were apples. I've eaten the apples."

"Betsy," said Mr. Gaston with a maddening, condescending smile. "If you were a little younger, I'd ask you to write a hundred times, 'Apple blossoms are white.' As it is, I merely ask you to rewrite your story, and eliminate any inaccuracies."

He picked up another paper.

But the subject was not quite done with. Joe Willard turned from his study of the trees beyond the window and raised his hand.

"Yes, Joe?" Mr. Gaston said changing his tone.

"It is my opinion sir, that apple blossoms are pink."

Mr. Gaston was silent, stunned.

"Pinkish, rather." Joe continued. "I think Betsy's word 'pinkish' is excellent. They're colored just enough to make the effect rosy."

The silence in the room had width, height, depth, mass, and substance.

From Betsy in Spite of Herself  by Maud Hart Lovelace

As you can see in the photo, Betsy and Joe are quite right - apple blossoms are pinkish.
And they smell simply divine!!

If you've never read the Betsy~Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, you should.
Really, you should.
They're simply delightful.


  1. Excellent quotation from the Lovelace book. I've not read it but appreciate the dialogue. The photo to illustrate. Would have loved a bit of the fragrance too! Ha!

    When I first moved to the high desert in 1972, the main crop grown in the area was alfalfa.
    Just before cutting and when the plants were in full bloom, the purple flowers were like a huge field of sweet peas, since it's a member of the Pea Family. One could drive through an alfalfa ranch and be totally immersed in the fragrance. Also, on a hot day as one drove through an alfalfa area, the temperature would drop noticeably because of the transpiring the plants were doing. Any alfalfa field was a nice place to hang out if one could do so without trespassing!


  2. Loved this:) I need to finish the series!
    The apple blossoms are divine. I need to come see them, and the lambs, soon! :)

    With love,

  3. I love all things Apple!! Those apple blossoms are beautiful and a hint of the wonderful fruit to come. Yummm, apple pies, apple crisp, fried apple pies,waldorf salad, apples for many wonderful ways to enjoy!!You are indeed lucky to have apple trees on your property. I would like to come for the harvest and make apple butter together! You know they say, An apple a day keeps the doctor away/! I believe it!!

  4. Mr. Dane - I've never visited an alfalfa field before, but I love the purple flowers, and I can imagine it smells heavenly!! Interesting about the temperature drop.

    Kellie - Yes, you do, on all three counts! =D

    Winnie - Oh, I just love apple pie! And I love apple butter, too!

    lol. Indeed, although I've been steering clear of apples since watching Doctor Who. If an apple a day does keep him away, then I'll eat no more apples;D

  5. Don't worry, dear, an apple a day only keeps doctors away who like to push pills and shoot you with needles. ;-)

    That author certainly has a way with words. Just the title alone is intriguing.

    God bless,


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