Sunday, May 7, 2017

Best and highest use #phenology

Our pear tree, which has bolted beyond where we should have let it, is in bloom as of a couple of days ago. Most of the pears end up being whitetail fodder when the whitetail mudders [sorry, I couldn't resist] bring their still spotted fawns out to nibble in late Summer and early Autumn. Some years the Better Half and the Daughter Person harvest some fruit to make preserves of one kind or another. other years, not so much. The whitetails don't seem to notice or care about the loss of a few dozen pears from what I think they've come to consider "their" tree. We'd notice a lack of fawn sightings much more, I believe, if they went away because we got greedy and refused to share.

pear tree in bloom
pear tree in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

Turkey hens are still scratching under the deck-mounted bird feeders. Every so often there's a mutual startle when I go to let out one of the dogs as a hen is below the sight line of the concrete patio edge. Turkey runs away, dog barely stops before running through the screens, dog-owning blogger yells loud curses and ineffectual orders at dogs and turkey.

Still no signs of hummingbirds or orioles, but hopes are high for arrivals in the near term. The cardinal and red-winged blackbirds are flummoxed by the squirrel-proof bird feeders and much prefer the tray feeders. So do the squirrels. I haven't come close to working out a solution to that issue except for an occasional yell at a squirrel. The tray feeder rarely gets more than a couple of hand fulls (hands full?) of seeds, limiting loss to red and gray furred bandits.

This morning, as the sun rose in the East, clouds scudded in from the West. For a very brief couple of minutes, the contrast created by a narrow band of treetop sunlight, accented by the pear tree, was a delight to watch. Here's a sample.

sunrise' golden band
sunrise' golden band
Photo by J. Harrington

The Pear

By Ruth Stone

There hangs this bellied pear, let no rake doubt,
Meat for the tongue and febrile to the skin,
Wasting for the mildew and the rot,
A tallow rump slow rounded, a pelt thin
And for the quickest bite; so, orchard bred,
Heaviest downward from the shaking stem.
Whose fingers curve around the ripened head
Lust to split so fine a diadem.

There is the picker, stretches for the knife,
There are the ravening who claw the fruit,
More, those adjuring wax that lasts a life,
And foxes, freak for cunning, after loot.
For that sweet suck the hornet whines his wits,
But husbandman will dry her for the pits.

December 1951

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