Friday, April 25, 2008

Fruit to Be

Spring has finally arrived in the Northeast! Talking a walk around my backyard yesterday evening, I was amazed at how quickly the apple trees had sprung their buds. Seems like just yesterday, literally, they were dormant and gray. The branches are loaded with leaves and blossoms, and bumblebees were braving the twilight to investigate. Humans aren't the only creatures that welcome the heralds of spring!

The blueberry bushes, on the other hand, are not as prolifically florid as the apple trees, I'm sorry to say. We had a great crop last summer, but this summer may prove to be an off year. I was happy to see that the most productive bushes were nicely budded, though. Five different varieties of blueberries growing in a row, and the most productive are bushes producing big, juicy berries that are ideal for fruit salads and pancakes -- and birds.

Unfortunately, apparently overnight, wild rose canes had completely overgrown the middle three bushes, but since I'd left the netting on all winter (ah, a case where procrastination really did pay off!), they stayed in an arch entangled in the net over the top of the bushes. I was able to painstakingly trim them off in 12-inch sections in about 2 hours. Fingersore but satisfied, when I was done, I finally rolled the net off so the growing blueberry branches won't entrap themselves as they continue to leaf out and bloom. The net will go back on come July, when the berries start to ripen.

In the bushes behind the apple trees, which are directly behind our blueberry stand, a family of blue jays builds their nest each year. They were keeping a close watch over my rose-pruning operation last night. They're expert net-evaders, so they, too, have a vested interest in my horticultural skills, or lack thereof.

Before we know it, there will be nascent berries where the flower buds are now. I'm already dreaming of pancakes.




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