Woke up to discover that my little apple tree, one that I pollinate by hand and guard with my body from runaway softballs, bloomed. The tree is as old as my son, yet it's still small and not that pretty. It's leaning to one side a bit, worse when it's attempting to hold on to heavy apples and the deer is sneaking up at night to much on the new growth. Yet, from the day I got it, it faithfully bloomed every year with the most gorgeous flowers. I wait for all of them to open – then I go from bloom to bloom, pollinating them with a small fluffy brush. Sometimes Mother Nature forgets about my little apple tree so I took matters into my own hands a couple of years ago. Last year I got 11 apples as a reward. Had to share with other "residents" (chipmunks ate the fallen ones, deer bit off a few, worms resided in a couple more) but it's part of the course. Welcome back little apple tree!