Saturday, August 25, 2007

Apple Tree Diary - Questions

The blush of ripening apples fills the window these past few days; the change was imperceptible but now is striking. The fading days of summer have spirited the bright birds to some secluded woodland retreat, leaving the abundance of the apple tree to the enterprising chipmunks and woodchucks. Even a garter snake raised a pale green throat to survey the prospects.

Shall I gamble with the chances of the ripening fruit to survive the burdened branches of the tree---and the lust of the wild creatures anxious for its fall? Or shall I pick and pray that the fruit will mellow in safety behind the window pane? Do apples ripen off the tree? If not, to what use could they be put---apple piccalilli, like tomatoes?

A trip down the walk these days draws the eye to a half-eaten apple on the wall under the tree, covered by mid-day with bees seizing an opportunity. Will a hint of apple flavor their honey, or is that only from the nectar of flowers? There are apple and bee experts in Town who know the answers to such questions, but truth be told, it is the food for thought, alive in the apple tree, which nourishes something the facts never will. Questions of all sorts ripen and cluster; weighty questions float on tenuous branches in the sunny breeze, the rain, the mist and fog.

The apple tree as symbol traces its’ pedigree from the Book of Genesis to “motherhood, apple pie and Chevrolet”. We have the bad apple in a barrel and the medicinal apple that keeps the doctor away. What is it about an apple tree? I can’t remember hearing about the other side of the apple---I guess that’s a coin---something about light and dark, good and evil.

Speaking of light and dark, I took this shot of my woodchuck through the window screen. It developed as a faded “wash’, but thanks to the miracle of MS Picture Manager I was able to tinker until I cleared it up enough to share here. He clearly has a question; I wonder what it is.

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