Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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and s-integrator


The season advances; try and stop it!

These are apples from our new hybrid apple tree, the Honeycrisp, defined as Malcolm X Honeygold, and described as "a juicy combination of sweet and tart flavors" by its developers. Ah, ad writers! Love 'em.

But I will subscribe to the description, well, sort of. The writer goes on to say that you can pick them in September but to let the apple "develop its full aromatic flavor," it is best to leave them on the tree until October. I don't think we will be able to. The first one fell the first week in September, and the one right next to it came off easily in my wife's hand when she gave its stem a little twist to the left. (A twist to the right and it might still be there.)

The tree is about a year and a half old; last year it showed a couple of blossoms and tiny apples, which we reluctantly squeezed off, according to instructions. How sad. And the instructions urged us to let no apples mature during the second year.

Ha! The tree had a mind of its own in this direction. It produced such copious fruits that it would have been criminal not to allow them to ripen. And now we are faced with a proliferation of apples, and they are growing huge and fat.

For weeks now some of them have had a pretty blush, which led us to think they were riper than they evidently were. And though we squoze off a few, quite a few, there was such an abundance that we feared (only briefly) for the health of the tree. Norma brought out supports for the overburdened limbs when they began to sag, and now they are fully supported artificially, or else the boughs would have broken and the apples fallen to the ground.

One by one our new apples are ripening and yielding to the touch. Eagerly we bring them in in ones and twos and have them for lunch. One such apple will provide a dessert for the two of us. And how are they? A bit tart, but fully flavorful. The skin in a little touch for my bad teeth, but I can chew it up. And if they last on the tree, variously unripened, we are practically guaranteed even better flavor, which in my professional opinion will be hard to match.

New, from the University of Minnesota, they are described, and Hardy to USDA Zone 3, wherever that is.

Oh, its companion tree is Shikuka, which is from Japan and described as Golden Delicious X Indo beauty. It won't be ripe, according to the manual (all fruit trees seem to come with manuals, like software used to do), until mid October. But it too is benefiting from our late, hot summer, and we should benefit from an earlier ripening with it, too.

Small things like this bring big pleasures.

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Neither of us travels very far


Travel? Why should we travel? We are exactly where we want to be, bird and I.

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