The oak leaves are coming down in earnest now. In a few days, if the weather stays cool enough, it will begin to look like rain outside my window. The maples will hold their leaves a few weeks longer.
John took us apple picking yesterday. It was something we had been hoping to do for awhile, but had no immediate plans for. John is so wonderfully spontaneous, he whisked us away in the afternoon to an orchard in upstate (well, it was up to us) New York.
John purposely chose a scenic route to avoid traffic and to enjoy the foliage. The sides of the mountains looked like patchwork quilts done in green, crimson, persimmon, gold, and burgundy. The trees where I live just turn yellow, then brown, and then drop to the ground, so this was a nice treat.
I hate long car rides, mostly because the kids usually pitch a fit. They were so good, though. Jack was behaving because I told him (and meant it) that he wouldn’t pick apples if he was whiny, complain-y, or annoying and because we put on some fun music for him. Harry actually took his nap in the car – yay!
I had never been apple picking before and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The first thing I learned is that apples ain’t cheap: twenty-two dollars to fill up a smallish shopping bag. To be honest, though, I didn’t realize how many apples actually fit in one of those bags: it’s quite a lot. We filled two bags.
The second thing I noticed was the lovely fragrance coming from the windfall apples carpeting the ground under the apple-less trees. Most of the trees toward the entrance of the orchard were wiped out, I assume, from the visitors that had been there over the weekend. We were one of only a few families there yesterday (hooray for a husband who has off on a weekday!) and we had to walk a ways to find the trees which were still heavy laden with fruit.
I also learned, along with Jack, who was also surprised, that the trees are shortish. It makes sense to me that they are grown and pruned that way to make picking easier, but I just hadn’t pictured it that way.
It was hot in the sun and too cool in the shade and I was wearing shoes that made my feet blister, but we had so much fun, I’d definitely do it again. We climbed the little trees, sniffed the apples, looked at the ponds. It was great.
This week will be filled with apple pie, apple crumble, apple ice cream topping, baked apples, roasted potatoes with apples and onions…