Sunday, 2 September 2012

It's been a good year for the apples

Apples, apples everywhere. Apple trees from Jeziorki to West Ealing are exceptionally fruitful this year. The one in our garden, nine summers old, only gave fruit for the first time four years ago - then very little - but now its poor structure is creaking from the overload of apples (below). As yet unripe, the fruit is still hard, acidic and lacking in sugar. But after two or three weeks of sunshine, they should be perfect.

Below: untreated with pesticide, our apples are a long way off the visual standards required by hypermarkets these days. I trust ours will be tastier! They will, however, need to be checked before eating for any inhabitants.

Further on up the road and round the corner, on ul. Dumki, there are wild apple-trees whose fruit is ripe and ready to eat (below). Unadopted and growing on the verge of the street, they are there to be picked by anybody - and these are good. Sweeter and softer, and less blemished, than our ones.

It's been a wonderful summer in Poland. Not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry - but fertile, full of flowers and fruit. Although there's not been a drought this year, Jeziorki's finally had a chance to dry off after the snowy winters and spring downpours of 2009 and 2010.

Today, for the first time in over two and half years, I walked from one end of ul Dumki to the other without getting my shoes wet. The reed-beds are moist but no longer under water. The last car passed this way in the autumn of 2009; the road then was boggy and passable only to four-wheel drives with determined drivers.

Wild flowers continue to bloom in the verges and the fallow fields, though the mugwort is getting dry and losing its yellowness. Nawłoć (goldenrod) is still the predominant flower at this time of year (I wonder whether ul. Nawłocka, which connects ul. Trombity to ul. Kaczunkowska, was named after this flower so common around these parts).

Importantly, unlike last year when it came to culex pipiens (gnats? midges? mosquitos), we were not bitten incessantly when out walking. I can only hope that the warm, dry and sunny days will continue long into late-November, then to be replaced by frost and deep, deep snow.

This time two years ago:
Things can only get better

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