After April,”the cruelest month,” spring comes as a warm breath of fresh air to Leelanau County. Besides morels, leeks and asparagus, a welcome sign that we’ve truly made it through the winter is the appearance of new blossoms on the cherry trees. My wife, Laurie, and I always told our girls as they were growing up, “look, the popcorn trees are out.”
They weren’t too old when they started rolling their eyes every time I said it, but what the heck, I got a kick out of it. Last year when our older daughter Halley was home from Washington, D.C., for a spring weekend I told them, “We’re going to take a popcorn tree picture.” Yeah, they roll their now-adult eyes, but they humor me.
So, the plan. I call my friend Dick Krahn, a photographer, and tell him to meet us with his good camera at the orchard. We gather all our red and white popcorn and picnic service together, dress in blue and white and head out. In the car, Juliana, our younger daughter, pulls out a tube of stop-sign-red lipstick and the three girls glam it up. I now know that, in spite of what they say to their dad, they are into the corny project. Cool. At the orchard we set up and the girls can’t be contained. They start throwing popcorn in the air and at each other while Laurie and I “harvest.” Dick starts shooting and keeps clicking for about 15 minutes. A riotous way to welcome spring!