Skip to main content

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...


Sunday
Early morning.  We drove down to the lake for a stroll in the autumn sunshine; the air was chilled in the shadows but the sun was bright.  The water level was still very low; we have had hardly any rain for weeks.  On the spit of land a gaggle of Canada geese preening and resting.  The water still and calm.


 
We walked further along the lane, and there just around the bend, my favourite oak tree; a lopsided old thing with winky-wonky branches.  But all was not well.  The trunk had split and there was a gut-wrenching open wound.
 




I loved that old tree and always take a photograph of it when we are down there; a kind of tradition.




Now, half the tree lying on the ground - only fit for firewood - such a shame - I felt really sad.


Monday
Spent the morning pruning the Amelanchier which had outgrown its space.  My neighbour came round with foxglove self-seeders which I planted beneath it now that there is some room.  I have finally come to the end of the garden restoration project - it is far too tidy for my liking, as if it is minding its manners - but this time next year I know I will be doing it all over again.

 
Amelanchier at its best in June of this year 
(I won't show you a picture of it after pruning too depressing :()
Tuesday
When I left home to go shopping this morning the fog was really thick; by the time I had driven five miles to town, the sun was out and it was really warm; when I returned home an hour later it was almost as foggy as when I left; how can the weather change over such a small distance.  The garden furniture has been oiled and stored away for winter - a sure sign that summer is over.


As I drove past the hedgerows they were full of colour from the blackberries and bryony berries, draped like Christmas garlands.





Friday
Apple picking time.  The Bramley cooking apples were ready.  I picked at the lower level; Dave picked right at the top.  This is the best year I have had with this tree and have had to wait twenty five years or more, since I planted it, for a really good harvest.  There is something about climbing into a tree; hanging on to the scaly trunk and smelling the sweet, green, fragrance of the apples; bringing back happy childhood memories. There is plenty of fruit to see us through the winter and to share with friends and neighbours.  Plenty for pies and crumbles and sauces and for my favourite - Eve's Pudding.



 


And, so the sun sets on another fruitful week.

Autumn Song - Mary Oliver
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Elaine

Comments

  1. Gorgeous apples. How marvellous to grow your own. That oak tree was such a gorgeous shape - it almost had a Japanese slant to it. So many lovely scenes to photograph in the autumn. Wonderful blackberries too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a good year for fruit this year - I have several trees in the garden and they all have performed very well - which isn't the case every year. I agree about the shape of the oak tree, alas, its lop-sidedness was its downfall.

      Delete
  2. Oh Elaine, I wish I could follow you around, but this post was the next best thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be pleased to have you along Donna.

      Delete
  3. Such a shame of that beautiful shaped tree, can imagine you were sad to discover this havoc, but that´s life there is a coming and a going. Wonderful harvest of your appletree!
    Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, nothing in nature stays the same does it - but it was still a terrible sight to come across unexpectedly.

      Delete
  4. It is sad when after standing there overlooking things for years the tree finally fell.
    It does seem to have been a really good year for apples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks as though it was rotting in the middle and we have some strong winds just lately - a sad sight to be sure. Definitely the best year for apples and plums I can remember.

      Delete
    2. Our plums have had a lean year.

      Delete
  5. What a shame about the lovely oak tree. Your photos of the apples brought back memories of childhood and the apples being stored in the roof on trays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know people used to store their apples in the roof - mine are just stored in the shed and hopefully they will last the winter out.

      Delete
  6. A wonderful tribute to the old oak.

    Ms Soup

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are beautiful pictures, Elaine, and you tell a very real and touching story of the oak tree.

    We had a crab apple tree in our backyard for the longest time. It developed some sort of disease and we had yo have it cut down. I missed the shade and the scent of the ripening apples. Your post brought back memories! :)

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane. It's sad isn't it when a tree has to go, like losing an old friend.

      Delete
  8. Our Bramleys don't seem to keep too well. I only have a few crates, but already there are bad ones amongst them, and I need to survey them well. I agree with you about Eve's Pudding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They keep OK if there are no blemishes on them - we have had plenty of windfalls but once they hit the ground they are good for nothing.

      Delete
  9. Poor old oak tree. Reading this has reminded me of how I love the changing of the seasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best thing about living in England is the four seasons. I love each one in turn.

      Delete
  10. Lovely photos of your autumn countryside and harvest. How sad to see the oak fall. I have such a love for oaks, I always take time to look at them. Your one had such a striking shape.
    We've plenty of apples here but I'm so disappointed in the blackberries; they were tiny. I don't know why - they should have been well pollinated. It must have been the drought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should imagine it is the drought that has affected them, there are hardly any sloes this year either.

      Delete
  11. A nice post and lovely pictures. What a shame to see the oak tree like that. Enjoy the apples. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Flighty. The apples will keep us going till we're sick of the sight of apple pie :)

      Delete
  12. went off to see what Eve's pudding is ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of those old-fashioned puddings which is quick and easy to make and a delicious way of using apples.

      Delete
  13. I love the fact that the old oak tree will live on forever during its various seasonal incarnations in your lovely photos - enjoy your Bramley apples, it is the king of apples for pies and crumbles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad now that I took many photos of the oak tree - when I saw it I just kept saying oh no oh no - what's happened to my tree :(

      Delete
  14. it must have been such a shock seeing the poor oak tree. I was picking applea at our community orchard last weekend and got hit in the mouth by a falling apple, it did hurt! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Sarah - I was sort of in shock - I know it's only a tree and all that but I was very fond of it. Oo sorry to hear that not surprised that it hurt.

      Delete
  15. It's always sad when a well loved and familiar tree is irrevocably damaged Elaine :( I really enjoyed the poem. I've never thought of what it must be like from a leaf's perspective to be dangling down in mid air for the majority of it life before being jettisoned down to a relatively warm and soft earth. What bliss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed the poem too - I love Mary Olivers' work, she always offers a different perspective on life.

      Delete
  16. It must be so very satisfying to have a harvest like that. A beautiful poem too. Thanks Elaine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had to wait a long time for such a good crop - there are just as many apples that fell off as the ones we picked - I have a recipe for Windfall Marmalade made from apples - I might give it a go seeing as we have so many.

      Delete
  17. Great harvest. I am still dealing with apples. I'll freeze some more tomorrow. Had apple crisp for supper tonight. Old trees do break our hearts don't they? Even the mighty oaks grow old fall apart. A bit of a life lesson, isn't it? Enjoy your fall days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These Bramleys will keep hopefully overwinter so I won't have to process them all. But I will make some into sauce so that I can freeze it. Yes, very sad about the tree - it must have been a strong wind that finished it off. The hedgerow just won't look the same without it.

      Delete
  18. How wonderful to have a full-grown tree that you planted yourself; I always think that you need to be a very patient person to plant a tree.
    Poor old oak, such a beauty and such an untimely end. Not far from where I live is a 1000-year old oak tree, recognised as one of the 50 great trees of the UK and dedicated to Her majesty Queen Elizabeth in her Jubilee Year, The Darley Oak.
    http://www.ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk/discoveries/newdiscoveries/2009/The+Darley+Oak
    I hope it still has many years left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of years ago I thought about chopping it down because it just wasn't giving us any apples, I'm glad I didn't now. I don't think my oak tree was anywhere near that old but because it had grown lopsided I think that was its downfall - shame 'cos it was a beauty.

      Delete
  19. Oh, it's heartbreaking seeing a beloved tree come down, I had a favourite in the Lakes and was horrified to see it down after an awful storm. At least you have beautiful pictures of it. I wish I could pass all my apples to you, most of them rot on the lawn, or what passses as a lawn, I'm hopeless at baking but do pass some around the neighbours. My old tree has thousands of apples on it every year, it must be about fifty years old, no doubt yours will do really well each year now.
    I loved the berries! Gorgeous!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Elaine I am so amazed that you have blackberries this time of the year. Ours always are done in mid August. Too you have Canada geese. I would have thought they were strictly on our side of the ocean. How neat! Now when I see ours fly over I will know you are seeing some too. Those apples look wonderful. We are enjoying them here too. Such beautiful pictures and lovely autumn song. Take care friend and have a blessed week.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Dina, I am so glad I took so many pictures of it - for posterity, as it were. The sheep who use that field won't have any shade now and it's not as if you can instantly replace such a beautiful tree - there is part of it left but it will never look the same again :(

      Delete
    3. Dear Debbie
      Our blackberries don't really start till late August/early September, and they were a little late this year - but they have been very plentiful. We seem to have the geese all year round, or at least it seems that way, there are always some down at the lake making a lot of noise :) You take care too and make the most of your lovely countryside this autumn.

      Delete
  20. Its always a sad time when I see a downed tree. They take so long to establish that everyone should take advantage and plant a tree in their life, just like your apple tree. So glad you are reaping the benefits of a bumper harvest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I planted a cooking apple and an eating apple when we first came here over 30 years ago, the trees are huge now. The eating apple particularly gives a wonderful harvest every year the cooker has been slower to produce, but finally has got its act together.

      Delete
  21. It is always so sad to see a tree as fine as the oak (but any tree) down.

    On a positive note - a lovely lot of photo's you've shared.
    Your apples look good - enjoy your Eve's Pudding and other apple delights.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  22. It is Jan - but I guess it is all part of nature's cycle of life.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful, Elaine - and thank you! For me those trees on pastures and hills are one of the first signs that I am in England - and brambley hedges, cider, all that is so wonderful and typical

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Britta - yes all typical and wonderful at the same time.

      Delete
  24. How sad about the grand old oak but, I guess that is the way of nature isn't it ?
    Beautiful photographs of the lake .... how lovely to have that so close to you.
    ...... and, we put our garden furniture away yesterday .... a bit depressing but I shall embrace the Autumn and Winter that is on it's way !!
    Enjoy your apples Elaine. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a sorry sight to see Jackie I shall really miss seeing my lovely old oak as I turn the corner. Yes, always depressing to put the furniture away, another season finishes, alas. I shall definitely enjoy the apples, there are plenty to go round.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Down to Earth ...

A nothing much happened kind of week.  Mostly it rained and rained and rained.  The sun burst through for short periods then hid behind the clouds and it rained again.  The garden is flattened and battered and a soggy mess.  We have had the heating on it has been so chilly - even my pet sheep had their hats and scarves on.


On Monday electricians came and fitted an earthing device.  On Tuesday a different electrician came and earthed us (our earthing spike had deteriorated - whatever that is) - apparently new regs said it had to be done before the house could be signed off as completed.  The electrician also fitted the new ceiling lights to replace the water damaged ones.


And a new desk has been installed to replace the water damaged one.


Next week all the carpets are going to be fitted and voila - we're done.  Hurrah!

Meanwhile back at the ranch - every time the sun came out I rushed into the garden to take some pics of the least damaged flowers.


The view from the kitchen window

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...

" It was a morning of ground mist, yellow sunshine, and high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky.  The leaves were still thick on the trees, but de-spangled gossamer threads hung on the bushes and the shrill little cries of unrest of the swallows skimming the green open spaces of the park told of  autumn and change." ~ Flora Thompson


September has been a very productive month for me. I have worked hard in the garden with a feeling of racing against time; although, in truth, there is plenty of time to do everything - I just wanted to get it done while the weather was good, so much more pleasant working outside when it is a little warmer, rather than having to wrap up in coats and boots to get it all done.  I have planted every last bulb that I possess; those I saved from last year; those I bought this year; every piece of ground and every container has been put to use - if I don't get a good display in spring then something has gone seriously wrong.


Gardening fo…