Winter apples

A few people have commented to me this fall/winter season – “you have apples left on your tree”. And I would feel guilty. I had gone to all that effort to water them, weed around the tree and pick most of them at perfectly ripe. But somehow that last bunch was left on the tree after my enthusiasm for gardening fades in the fall.

It happens every year. I start off the Spring roaring and ready to go. I have long lists of tasks and planting schedules. It is going to be the best season ever. And as the weeds begin to get the better of me, and the watering becomes drudgery, I am doing well just to harvest. So the apples outside my bedroom window were mocking my lack of enthusiasm for the last of the harvest, general clean up and the final weeding.

About 2 weeks ago, I asked my husband, do birds eat apples? My thinking was that some good would come from them. He wasn’t sure. Then a week ago, a flock of robins on migration stopped through my yard. It was really cold and they were really fluffed up and they were taking refuge in my apple tree and eating away at the apples. And then a few days later, a squirrel was darting through the yard and turned to face me with a mouth full of apple before it launched up onto our roof.

So now I can say that I am leaving a bunch of apples on my tree for the wildlife. I never would have imagined that I would have a tree that could produce enough apples for me, let alone leaving some out.

2 thoughts on “Winter apples

  1. I used to cut back all the perennial flowers to the ground. Now I leave them because they hold the snow in place, and I leave their seed heads for the birds. I leave most of the dead vegetable plants in place too, but that is mostly out of laziness.

  2. Winter grapes have the same effect. A fellow that lives in Nelson, B.C., a very cold place in the winter, has had a beautiful little Wilson’s Warbler surviving the winter cold by feeding on the grapes that he hadn’t got around to harvesting.

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