Friday, October 30, 2009

An Apple a Day

We had this many apples - times 4 - from our 2 apple trees this year. One of those apple trees was marked for 'dead' when we brought it home 10 years ago. Geoff, the tree whisperer, brought it back to life and replenishing again. Here is the story......

Years ago, Geoff and I were at a local nursery and we were thinking how nice it would be to have an apple tree for our future kids. We picked out a beautiful dwarf red delicious tree and my smart, quick husband started right in on his bargaining tactics with the sales person. Because everything is better if bought for a deal. As soon as Geoff realized that the employee would not even cut a small deal from the sticker price, his ego was quickly threatened, and in what seemed the blink of an eye--instinct took over. Geoff noticed an identical apple tree, with virtually no leaves at all in a compost pile. He anxiously said, “Hey, I’ll buy this tree if you throw that one in (pointing to the leafless tree). The sales clerk laughed and said, “Those are all dead trees!” Determined and inspired, Geoff repeated his offer and a deal was made.

When we arrived home Geoff planted both trees, side by side, and quickly watered and put all the tender loving care he could muster to the dead tree. He would mist the seemingly dead and lifeless branches as often as he could. He continued this practice through the last weeks of summer. Before the first hard freeze, the very alive tree was doing well, although the ‘dead’ tree looked the same as it did the day we brought it home. Anxiously, we waited for spring, wondering what the outcome would be of these trees beneath our wings.

When spring arrived we found that leaf buds grew from both trees in abundance! That year there were no blossoms, and subsequently for almost nine years thereafter we watched both trees grow with close to no blossoms at all, even with careful and delicate pruning. Finally, in the tenth year, both trees blossomed and both bore fruit……but guess which tree had more blossoms and much larger fruit?

“A man has at least begun to understand the true meaning of life when he plants a shade tree under which he knows full well he will never sit.” --Elton Trueblood

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Hunt

From the looks of these two, no wonder the deer were hiding.

After a long, grueling 4 minute walk, it was time for a rest....

....and a snack....

....and discovering new treasures.

It was a good first hunt.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Peas and Pumpkins

Summer is wrapped up. Fall is here, and we find it irresistible. Our garden has done it’s work again for a season, providing us with such vegetables as….peas and pumpkins. Seriously, is that all we had in that large weed patch? Ah, well. But OH! what peas and what pumpkins we have had!!

Early in the spring, we labored -- look closely, Farrell expresses well the joy of hard work.

Jacob put forth his best effort.

David was in charge of the irrigation.

Early summer David enjoys a teasing of nature's candy -- garden fresh peas.

And finally, after months of sunshine and water (and unfortunately very little weeding) we get to savor the sweet reward. Pumpkins!