Warm temperatures and lots of sun have combined to create a canopy of color around Merced County and the rest of the San Joaquin Valley as almond orchards burst into full bloom.
This annual event has been even more pronounced this year, with little rain and wind to discourage or slow down the bloom.
As the trees speed through their normal cycle, bees are busy going to tree to tree, pollinating the crop.
The bees spread pollen from bloom to bloom, making possible an almond crop that grossed about $1.21 billion in the region in 2011.
About two-thirds of the nation's 2 million-plus commercial bee colonies descend on the Central Valley for almond pollination from mid-February to mid-March.
But for all the bees' work and farmers' care, it's the color the bloom paints across the valley that seems to get people's attention this time of year.