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Birds-eye view of orange groves, with shadow of mountains just visible in the background.
Riverside, surrounded by orange groves, California. Photo by Universal View Company, 1906. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/stereo.1s10520

Pining for Citrus

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It’s usually right about this time of year when I start pining for warmer weather and fresh, local fruit. This may have something to do with my California roots. My family always had fruit trees, including varieties of orange, such as the one you see below. There were only a few months out of the year when none of our trees bore ripe fruit.

Vertical image features an orange tree full of fruit.
A California orange tree. Photo by Detroit Photographic Company, between 1898 and 1905. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.17901

This stereograph view brings to mind memories of driving through this part of Southern California, and of the pleasant aroma of orange blossoms that would waft through the windows.

Birds-eye view of orange groves, with shadow of mountains just visible in the background.
Riverside, surrounded by orange groves, California. Photo by Universal View Company, 1906. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/stereo.1s10520

Thriving Italian lemon trees in the photochrom print below offer a reminder that citrus trees like temperate climates.

Lemon trees in green house.
A lemon tree, Limone, Lake Garda, Italy. Photo by Detroit Publishing Company, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsc.06475

The flat terrain and surrounding bodies of water suggested to me that the orange grove in the below image might be situated in Florida. A subject heading and reference to a more fully described black-and-white version of the image in the online catalog record confirms that we are looking at a scene in Orlando.

Birds-eye view of orange grove, with small bodies of water visible at left and in the distance.
Orange grove and pineries. Photo by Detroit Photographic Company, 1904. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.18286

In addition to showing picturesque scenes, some of the Prints & Photographs Division’s horticulture-focused images offer insight into the nuts and bolts of agricultural production, such as this image, made by the Photo Department of the American Colony in Jerusalem, of a man pruning trees.

Orange culture at Richon-le-Zion. Pruning grafted orange trees (onto lemon trunks or bitter oranges). Photo by Photo Department, American Colony in Jerusalem, between 1934 and 1939. https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/matpc.19799

Whether you are interested in horticulture, or simply enjoy idyllic scenes, there is plenty more for you to explore using the links below.

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