Monday, January 31, 2011

Chapter 35 - A Walk in the Orchard

            When Melaney took Gigi out for her walk this morning, I went outside to check the plants to see if they needed some water.  The plants by the house are all right for this morning, but I will check with them later. 
            I was in the house by the time Mel returned, and she asked me to bring my pruning shears and come with her.  The grasses are much too long around the house, and it is more difficult for me to walk, but she took my arm to steady my steps.
            We arrived at one tree location and she looked up.  She didn’t see what she was looking for, so we went to the next large tree.  She found the branch that she was looking for, and pointed to the location.  It was low on the tree.  This tiny branch was webbed, and in the webbing were tiny globules of something that she thought were egg casings.  I cut the branch.  She said “don’t let it fall on the ground!”  I told her I was holding a leaf and it was all right.  I took the offending branch, took a good look at it and told Mel that each tiny globe had a bit of a stem with it, and I thought it was tiny immature fruit that was caught in the webbing.  She told me to throw it beyond the fence line.  Once that was done, she was relieved. (I am sure it was large spider eggs -- Mel)
            All the trees in this plot need some good agricultural husbandry.  If I were younger and more capable of handling the chore, I would do more toward that task.  I showed Mel the leaves of one big section of tree that I had seen from the window that were all curdled with spots of growth and curled, and I know that tree is in trouble.  In my investigation of the trunk of the tree, I found two trees wound around each other.  That one big section should be shorne and burned.
            We looked up under another tree and Mel showed me the flowering of what Rita had called a water apple.  The blossoms are maturing and in a couple of places the fruit is forming.  It seems to be more in the shape of a pear than an apple.  We saw a little boy eating a fruit that appeared somewhat like this.  I hope it is better tasting than the peaches that Rita brought yesterday.  They were nearly tasteless……….Too bad, I was looking forward to some different fruit.
            The pineapple that I cut last was used partly on the top of a Hawaiian pizza and the remainder I cooked with sugar and it made it taste better and cut the acid.
              Rita came to the house, and after sufficient conversation, Mel took her out and showed her the diseased tree.  She said that she would have someone cut out the affected part. 
            Trees grow from stumps cut level with the ground here.  There are many places where I have observed this.  You would think the stump is dead, but the roots aren’t dead.  I wish I could encourage my tomatoes to grow.  I have been waiting on them for six weeks now, and they show little progress.  I think it is totally the soil.  This soil is rich for trees and shrubs, but it is too coarse and compact for tiny tomato plants.  I am still hoping for some cucumbers and squash and beets.

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