Crab apple picking

Catching up on stuff that I intended to post about yesterday…

I finally got a chance to pick some crab apples.

I had help.

It was starting to get pretty late in the season to pick these. A lot were already on the ground, other had signs of being eaten by birds. There were some I could not safely reach, even with the ladder, but that’s okay. The birds will enjoy them.

The one tree that was giving larger, sweeter apples this year resulted in about 2 1/2 gallon buckets of apples.

There is one other tree that had larger, sweeter apples last year. Though the apples are much smaller this year, there are lots of them. When I do my rounds, I have been tasting them. As the season progressed, the apples on this tree did start to develop that sweet-tart taste crab apples are known for. There are a couple of other trees with lots of apples on them, but they are pretty… unpleasant.

I decided to pick some from the one tree with good apples. Just a bucket full, I figured. So I dragged the ladder over and went to set it up under the most apple laden branches.

There… weren’t any?

These apples have been getting a very deep red as the season progressed, and there had been lots of them, but suddenly, there were hardly any at all.

Of course, my first thought was to check the ground, to see how many had fallen, but the ground was clear of fallen apples.

I finally went to pick some. Most were already too far gone and starting to rot at the stems. This is all I got.

Barely enough to cover the bottom of the bucket!

You can see one with a hole at the stem that I accidentally picked. Most of the remaining apples I saw had much larger holes like that.

I am guessing that the apples were eaten by something. I’m good with feeding critters. What I found interesting, though, is that it was just this one tree. There are trees on either side of this one that are full of apples, and I can see apples on the ground beneath them.

I guess whatever has been eating the apples from this tree found it tastier than the others, too!

Anyhow.

For the larger amount of apples, I am planning to make jelly. For the smaller amount, I’m going to try making apple cider vinegar.

We shall see how they turn out! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Critter of the Day: photogenic

My critter pictures have finally reached September. We’ve been taking far few pictures of late; the action outside our living room window has dropped significantly. I expect it to pick up later in the fall, when our winter birds return, and the deer start coming back to the feeding station. 🙂

This picture was taken on Sept. 1. That morning, Creamsicle posed quite nicely for us. 🙂

Such a big handsome boy he’s growing up to be! I love the little orange bits on either side of his nose. 🙂

Also, you can see our house in his eyes!

Critter of the Day: I know there’s food here, somewhere!

We started leaving food out for Junk Pile Kitten and his mom beside the junk pile, since the other cats crowd around the food bowls by the house, and sometimes chase them away.

Then the other cats discovered we leave food there.

In fact, it’s now become routine for the other kittens to follow me as I put food out, ignoring the food by the house and eating the food being left at the junk pile.

I’ve taken to leaving little piles of food on the ground beside the bowl, and even on the log I’ve set up as a seat. I started doing the same thing by the pump shack, too, since not only have some of the kittens started following me there, so do Butterscotch and Beep Beep!

Critter of the Day: bird watching

Hello, September!

After going through August’s photos of our feeding station, I found we didn’t actually take very many photos that month. I ended up with only a week’s worth of critter of the day pictures worth posting, mostly of cats.

Since I skipped at least one month’s worth of photos entirely in the spring, this will give me an opportunity to go through them.

And so, for the first day of September, I bring you a photo from the first day of August.

Susan is busy watching the birds in the platform feeder above her head. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Bonus Critter: playing

While switching out the empty hanging bird feeder for a full one, I noticed Junk Yard kitten was out.

So I sat down on the log I placed near the junk pile as a seat, and tried to lure him in.

There was a cat toy I’d found while cleaning out the old wood pile; one of the ones we’d left for the kittens that were living in there for a while, last year. Between it and the tree branch I wiggled around, I was able to get him to come within 3 ft of me and play!

He (she?) is such a beautiful cat! Those dark framed, golden eyes are just amazing!

The Re-Farmer