I survived…barely

Yes…I survived the completed trip around the sun! It was touch and go there for awhile! I didn’t know if I would make it through the day intact!  As I’m sure you have gathered with your keen senses, I did make it through and I’m back to tell the tale. I’d do the happy dance with you all, but…I’m sure you will understand why I’ll sit this dance out.

Before you get too excited to hear the tale, the truth of the matter is, there is no tale to tell as I was too crippled to go and do anything fun and/or exciting. Sorry if you were expecting an interesting tale to be told. But then again, why would you be thinking that? If you’ve been reading around here, you already know there isn’t much excitement going on here.

I survived the 4th of July festivities too, which is to be expected since I didn’t do anything special for the holiday. The days all seem to run together…holiday or no holiday. Must be due to the years moving by so quickly that holidays are here before I realize they are on the way! Either that or time for a new, more exciting, life!

I’m still upset about my fruit trees!  The apricot tree in particular. The apricots were still green, just starting to turn orange and I was all smiles just knowing I would have them for a birthday treat. What’s that saying about best laid plans?? Oh yeah…”best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” and if they are my plans, you can usually bet on them being lost in some ditch somewhere never to be seen or thought of again. But I digress. Back to the apricots.

I just can’t seem to get this fruit growing bit to work for me. The first year I got the trees, summer of 2009, the trees were young and it was late in the season, so there was no fruit. I was so excited about the idea of being able to go outside and pick 4 of my favorite fruits from the trees; one apricot tree, one white peach tree, one plum tree and one nectarine tree.

Fall fell upon the little trees and I watched as their leaves fell. I raked the leaves out of the rocks as they fell and took care of the sad looking little trees throughout the freezing cold nights and the snows of winter. Watering them and wondering if they were going to make it through the harsh winter. They looked so pitiful. They were little sticks out there, very similar to Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree, but not nearly as nice.

Finally spring of 2010 sprang forth! I was so excited to see the blossoms on the trees and I began dreaming about the sweet fruits I would have the pleasure of having on my tongue in a few short weeks! The apricot tree and the white peach tree had the most blossoms so I was looking forward to picking the fruit! The plum and nectarine trees weren’t doing so well. (On a side note, I know now that what I thought was the plum tree is the nectarine tree and vice versa! I will talk about them again one day…maybe).  I’m not a very good at this farming stuff and my “farming” stories are a bit long and boring, but for you, I’ll continue along.

The apricot tree had so many blossoms, I became lost in the thoughts of all the things I will make with all of those delicate orange fruits! I launched a search for recipes calling for apricots; sauces, jams, jellies…whatever I could find. I just KNEW there was going to be an abundance of them. Many more than I could ever pick or eat before they would see the end of their sweet fruitfulness.

I quickly discovered, this was a lot like the saying “a watched pot that never boils”, watched fruits take forever to ripen! Until…one day…it happened! I walked out to check on the little trees and there was fruit! I was so excited! The blossoms were now fruit, with all the leaves like a protective blanket shielding the treasures from all harm.  The recently transformed blossoms were expanding quickly into plump, juicy fruit weighing on the branches. It was green for what seemed an eternity, then, creeping ever so slowly, a burst of COLOR! I watched and watched in wonder, joy, and amazement of how a blossom could become a fruit.  Suddenly I noticed something was happening. Something had started eating the fruit!  What was it? Birds!  Oh no…it was birds! I was told to tie ribbons on the trees to scare the birds away. So I did and it worked…well…until it didn’t!

The joy and wonderment was quickly replaced with the nightmare of “The Birds”! I made the video, “Spring into Summer – The Fruit Trees”, to show the massacre that had taken place upon my poor little fruits! I was so sad and mad too! Those birds didn’t even leave ONE! I planned on sharing with them, but they weren’t sharing in the plan! Once again…plans gone astray and laying in a ditch somewhere! With several lessons behind me on those trees, I couldn’t wait until next year!

This year IS next year and yet again, Plans Astray In Ditch! Yep…P.A.I.D. again!! I just keep paying to the force that is nature! You saw the ordeal with the “Plum” tree which, as it turned out, had wind damage.  The winds were so strong they snapped the branches of the white peach tree! What fruit was on the tree either hit the ground or was gouged by the falling branches that destroyed them way before their time.

I left the damaged fruit for the birds and I was able to salvage 6 whole peaches! I had been using the grape Kool-Aid suggestion to keep the birds away, which appeared to be working until the branches snapped so I stopped using it! I didn’t want to lose those 6 pieces of pure peach gold, so I used the baggie trick on them and they made it through. I savored every bite of the sweet deliciousness of those peaches as I held out hope for the full tree of apricots as natures birthday gift to me as “the fruits of my labors” are realized!

As mentioned in my previous blog, “Another Trip Completed”, something got to that apricot tree before me and picked it clean! Not a sign of an apricot anywhere.  Nothing on the ground, no seeds, no half eaten apricots, NOTHING!  All gone without a trace!

Today, I think I figured it out as I saw not one, but FIVE of these critters running around in the yard…all of varying sizes. I battled and won with the birds this year but it appears I lost to the desert rats!

My tomato plants have died for the most part, with only ONE (which is the one that I just threw seeds from a tomato into a pot) that is thriving. The tomato plant that fell in love with the cactus is still living. It gave me 4 tomatoes so far, with many more blooms. I took him outside knowing that he needs much more sun than what he was getting inside and the blooms were just dying (which I think is due to not being pollinated while inside).  I decided to take the cactus out with him so he won’t wilt and die.  I’m keeping an eye on both plants to see what happens. So far so good! Bell peppers on the way, a few onions, and a couple of potatoes.

The moral of my story is…well…I don’t really have one, but I think my “farming” days are over! Nature is a mean Mother and the pain of her lessons will be with me always as I continue to hope, that one day, I will have P.A.I.D. enough and catch a pay day!

Until that day, the new way I will have P.A.I.D. will be…when the fall comes, I will be transplanting the fruit trees where they will be more protected from the winds and there they will be on their own…or not…

All photos were taken by Caylyn. © Caylyn.com 2011


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