Showing posts with label fruit trees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit trees. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Figs in my yard

My friend Tineke Bot has often claimed that she can distinguish spontaneously and effortlessly dozens of different shades of green. Here in Choranche, this kind of chromatic sensibility is an asset. Without it, an observer would have the impression of looking out on a world that is homogeneously green. In the case of the following photo, for example, I've played around with Photoshop settings in an attempt (not particularly successful) to get the leaves of the fig tree to stand out as much as possible against the background.

[Click to enlarge]

For the first time ever, the tree is covered in figs, and they're truly delicious. This is the tree given to me by my Provençal friends Natacha and Alain. Two years ago, in my blog post entitled Great fig tree, but low yield [display], I said jokingly that the annual yield of the young tree had been one edible fig. Clearly, since then, it has evolved exponentially. They're small dark spheres, firm and sweet: the variety of figs used to produce tarts and cakes.

I take this opportunity of including a link back to my blog post entitled Fabulous fig story [display], in which I referred to fascinating biological information from Richard Dawkins concerning the fig tree.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cherry season

The cherry tree alongside the house is loaded with fruit, but it's located on a steep embankment, which makes cherry-picking difficult.

During this activity, the dogs are alongside me constantly, either at the foot of the ladder, or scrounging in the vicinity of a bowl of fruit, waiting for an inevitable handout. Cherries go down their throats whole, of course, including the stones. Sophia would never steal a cherry from a bowl but, as soon as I place a single cherry alongside the bowl, she understands immediately that it's for her.

While they followed me around, I was able to take a few good portraits.

A few days ago, I was slightly alarmed to discover that Fitzroy had mistakenly identified the clay marbles in a flower pot (supposedly useful for keeping the soil loose) as cherries.

That's to say, I found him crunching away at one of these little red balls. I could clearly hear the sound of the clay being ground to powder by Fitzroy's powerful molars. After swallowing it, he looked up at me with a satisfied expression and wiped his lips with his tongue.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

There will be apples

At the same time I'm saying this (because of the profusion of white blossoms), and the donkeys might be dreaming about this (for they are the major consumers of Gamone apples), countless small creatures—ranging in size from fruit flies and wasps up to field mice and squirrels—are also looking forward, no doubt, to a good apple harvest towards the end of summer at Gamone. As usual, it'll be a matter of sharing out the produce to all interested parties... but often on a brutal "first come, first served" basis. Nature hasn't yet discovered organized gentlemanly democracy. The world has never been a welfare state.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Young plum tree

Maybe it wasn't a bright idea to plant a small plum tree beneath the canopy of one of my giant linden trees.

Nevertheless, it appears to be happy there, as it has just burst out in white blossoms. Maybe, in the near future, it might even yield a symbolic handful of tiny plums.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple hit me on the head

Seeing that blog title, Corina is going to think: "Poor William was down on his knees adjusting computer cables when his MacBook rolled off the table and bounced on his skull." And she might add: "Let's hope his machine didn't get damaged." Well no, it was a quite different happening. Over the last day or so, I've been thrilled to find myself gravitating genealogically, like a wandering star, towards Isaac Newton. Scientifically-minded observers might call it a hypothetical Newtonian relationship. I can hear other readers saying: "A fortnight ago, he gave us his links to William the Conqueror. Today, it's Newton. He's out of his mind. At this rate, tomorrow, he'll be talking to us about his relatives in Nazareth." Apples have indeed caused tremendous upsets in human history, ever since Adam and Eve. And I don't deny for a moment that more recent impacts with these fruit of knowledge might have damaged my brain...

Here are the basic space-time elements of the global situation:

It's impossible to be much more precise than that, since it's hard to associate these individuals with exact dates and places. Notice the existence of Newton's maternal uncle, the Reverend William Ayscough (pronounced askew), who detected the genius of his 12-year-old nephew and arranged to send him to Trinity College (where William himself had been educated).

Now, here's an equally vague fragment of my own family tree:

In both cases, the Ayscoughs are located in Lincolnshire, and the time frames are equivalent. It's funny to see that my ancestors Thomas Latton and Mary Ayscough were married in London (at the Church of St Benet Paul's Wharf) just a month after the marriage of Newton's parents. Besides, my ancestor John Latton (at one time deputy lieutenant of the county of Surrey), son of Mary Ayscough, was born in the same year as Isaac Newton, son of Hannah Ayscough.

I'm tempted to imagine that the two individuals named William Ayscough in the above charts might in fact be identical, in which case my ancestor Mary Ayscough would have been a first cousin of Isaac Newton. Devil's advocates will point out to me that Newton's uncle William was a clergyman, probably a Catholic priest. So, it's hard to admit the sinful speculation of Father Ayscough as the father of Mary. I disagree. Ever since the apple of Eden, anything's possible.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fruit season

Sophia's religious convictions surely pass through her belly. At this time of the year, she's certain that God exists, and that He has placed her in a land of plenty, at Gamone, where tasty delicacies such as apples and walnuts fall from the heavens.

My fig trees are still too young to bear fruit, but the next best thing to having your own fig trees is living alongside a neighbor whose fig trees have a plentiful yield... especially when the neighbor in question is not, himself, keen on figs. That's the case with Bob.

I wander up to Bob's place every afternoon to bring back a plate of excellent figs. Sophia, too, has become very keen on over-ripe figs that fall from Bob's trees.