Monday, April 26, 2010

An explanation.....

A bit back I mentioned popcorn bloom...I had meant to link back to a post with the photos below but forgot to. Then I wanted to find the rest of the photos and rescan them with the scanner I have would do a better job. But guess what?--I could not find them.
Anyway, these first two photos were taken by the orchard I used to work at. I had broken my leg that year, and had a walking cast on it still when these were taken. It had rained and everything was just saturated, so Roger took the photos for us. You have to enlarge these to even get an inkling of what it was like.
And compare the photos above with one below that I took 3 or 4 years ago...notice in the one above there is not one bud that is not open, but in the one below, some clusters are all bloomed while other clusters of blooms have not even begun.

My boss' wife, or as we always said, the one that wrote my checks, explained to me that it was called popcorn bloom when all the blossoms bloomed at once and all the trees bloomed at the same time...a rare occurrence. And I must say that I started work there in the fall of 1987, and the time above has been the one and only time it happened to this date.
I wanted to get out there this spring to take more photos, but I am probably too late now. I talked to my partner in crime out there and they were blooming there a couple weeks ago. I also wanted to get up to the big orchard up north, and haven't had the chance to go back. I think this is one of the first years I haven't seen them both during part of the bloom...and last year is the first year that has went by that I haven't been out to 'our' orchard in the fall during harvest.

I must say there is only one or two things more fun to do that pick apples...just something about looking and seeing what all has been accomplished during the day. And fun being out in the sun and even rain, though not fun when it is so muddy you have to worry about getting your picker stuck, or when it is hard to get the tractor to pull the load up a slick, clay hill.

When I first started there, we used to pick into crates and load them on the wagon. During the last few years, we started picking into milk crates, pouring them into a big bin that held approx 10-12 bushels. There were 3 or 4 of those bins on a mud boat....the mud boat would just dig into the mud and not slide over the ground as easily as it did when it was dry.

That mud boat was about like having a tractor and trailer have that thing trailing behind always took a little bit of thinking when wanting to turn around and head back to the barn with a load. There were always a tree missing here or one there, but you had to take into consideration were the apples still on the tree you were swinging through...or even if you just went to the end of the row it took some thought in a couple places.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever forget where things are out there...the different varieties of trees. And the odd trees planted here and there....I was always supposed to map out where everything was for the other girls...just never got it accomplished.

I also always mean to go and pick a day or two in the fall but never do...I am afraid I would either be disappointed, or else I would not be satisfied with just a day!