A is for Apple

God did NOT make little green apples. His mother did it.

(As a Naturalist, I have to make that point.)

Balsam_Fir_Trees_20050904_smallFor a place named Balsamea, you might think that A is for Abies balsamea, the scientific name for balsam fir tree, for which I named Balsamea, home of … you guessed it … The Balsamean.

B is for Balsamea.  A is for Apple.

(Why can’t the scientists just call it “balsam fir tree?”)    

Yesterday was an apple-icious September day.  A balance of sun and clouds, brisk 35 degrees in the morning, peaked around 54 mid-day, when suddenly a lone apple tree on a dirt road in the Sentinel Range Wilderness Area (Google map) shocked me into super-apple-consciousness.

Buddy and I have walked along that stretch of road at least a hundred times, and though it is probably twice my age, I have not noticed this apple tree before, with low-hanging fruit at the edge of the road, less than a stone’s throw from where we park the car.  (I park, Buddy just watches in eager anticipation.)

I probably have noticed this apple tree at some time in the past, but I don’t remember it.  That’s one of the great things about faulty memory.  It lets you experience things for the first time again.

20130917 little green apples

The as-yet uneaten portion of yesterday’s harvest.

My favorite apples are Gala and Granny Smith.  The little green apples discovered yesterday are a perfect combination of these flavors — sweet, mildly tart, and very crispy.  They are small, but they fit easier in my pockets that way.  I filled two pockets with them.

On the way home, about 30 miles, it seems that the world turned apple.  Within almost every mile I noticed one or more apple trees along the road sides.  Big apple trees, just loaded with red or green balls.

Balsamea has two apple trees.  One is nearly dead, crowded in dense trees.  The other is a young trunk that grew from an older, dead one.  It is overshadowed by a big balsam.  Neither produces any fruit, and not many flowers.

On nearby properties, especially to our south, there are several apple trees along the road, bursting with fruit.  I guess the apple fairy just missed us.

20130917 apple seedsIn my endless quest to leave Balsamea ever better than I found it, I’m going to try planting the seeds from the apples picked yesterday.  Come back in a few years, and I’ll let you know how the harvest is doing.

  • Apple to Apple (paintingbliss.com) – “There’s nothing like arriving at the orchard, plucking an apple from the tree, and shoving it promptly into your mouth. … I wish I could can up a New York fall for everyone who doesn’t live here.”
  • Planting Apple Trees in Autumn (groundtoground.org) – About gardening in coffee grounds.  Why apple trees?  “They are low maintenance, easy to maintain, easy to train to shape, the dwarfs only get to 2.5 meters, and they make apples!!”
  • What good is an apple tree if you don’t pick the fruit? (domermom.com) – When the neighbor’s apple tree brings you varmints …