Petal Drop

Dropping, dropping

With a violence that has us all reeling, the temperature just leaped from Thursday’s 64F (that was the day before yesterday) to 104F yesterday, and has now settled back to a mere 95F today. In 24 hours we hurtled from spring delight to high summer.

The animals have lain down in their yards, taking it with the kind of stoic silence a barnyard assumes in the heat.

The garden plants flopped over in complete collapse.

The orchard shuddered and shed its finery into the grass.

The only ones here who seem to be happy are the bees, and they’re just buzzing all over the place making a sound like July.

In my view, it’s completely unacceptable.

The newest of apples

As I walked through the orchard on my way to feed animals this morning, I passed the apple tree so recently a bouquet. I grumped to myself, and looked bitterly at the browned away petals. But, you know, there is something going on here besides heat stroke and disaster. If you look at the bulge below where the flower was, you can see the swelling that will become an apple if all goes well. Some of these will drop off without maturing (how the tree would groan if they did not!). But some will grow into rounded, succulent Gravenstein apples.

In any case, for comparison, last spring we had a wind and hail storm just in the middle of the apple bloom, and wondered whether, as a result, we would see any harvest. This year, we stagger under an appalling blue sky and midsummer temperatures in the middle of May, and are wondering whether, as a result, we will see any harvest.

We probably will. But I resent the whole attitude of the season anyway.

Here they are, the remains of the bloom, scattered like pearls from a string.

Fallen finery

Published in: Uncategorized on May 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Unbelievable! 104 degrees! ARGH! I will right now stop complaining about gloom and 53 for a high, and maybe rain. (It’s the maybe I’m complaining about, not the rain. We need rain!) I have never been in 104 degrees, and hope never to never ever be. Raw and windy here. What ever happened to moderation? I guess it went the way of normal weather patterns, thanks to all our consumption of gas and oil, and insistence that we can’t live without bananas and kiwis in winter!

  2. We are promised a return to normal by tomorrow: drizzle and F60s. But this has certainly been an eye-opener. I am told (have read) that wide variation around the mean is one of the symptoms of climate change. Even granting that weather is always as it never was before (ask any old-timer), we have definitely had wide swings this year.

    As to kiwi fruits, their normal harvest time here is in December and January. Bananas I give you, but kiwis are a winter fruit, odd as it seems. Good for vitamin C, too!


  3. Hello there, soon-to-be apple!

    It’s hot here one day, cold and rainy the next. All the gardeners (read: everyone) are complaining about it.

  4. Rest easy, Ms. Aplenty — soon enough it will be only hot, and everyone will still be complaining. But you will be back in the States by then, still worrying over whether Minneapolis or Portland.


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