Friday, 5 November 2010
The Wild Apple.
The hedgerows here on the farm are full of wild apple trees. They advertise their presence in the Spring when - in a good year - they are bursting with blossom. This year their blossom was exceptional, and also very beautiful to look at.
Now, of course, they have borne fruit. The wild winds of earlier this week have stripped most of the leaves from the trees in our fields and most of the crab apples from the branches. The heifers, who are still out (although they will be taken in any day now as the fields are so wet underfoot) have had a veritable feast. They are very sour apples but the beast seem to love them. One day earlier in the week the orangey/red crab apples of one tree lay thick on the ground. I made a mental note to return with my camera to record this but when I did so, every one had been eaten by the heifers, who were standing around the tree.
However - high up the big pasture one tree is holding on to its crop of crab apples for dear life. Every tree in the hedgerow seems to be full of fieldfares and redwings today. I fully expect they will descend on this apple tree before the weekend is out and strip it bare. There was a day when somebody would have collected the apples for crab apple jelly, but it is a chore to make and really we eat such a little bit of it - maybe once or twice over the winter with cold meats etc., that it is easier to buy a jar. Once opened it quickly goes mouldy.
So here - in a last gasp of Autumn - I give you a photograph of this magnificent crop of wild crab apples. Now we can look forward to another lot of blossom in April and it can't come soon enough for me.