June 1– even more berries & bugs

I think that this post might wind up being quite a bit like the last post.  To start with, the cicadas still aren’t going anywhere, nor are they getting any quieter:

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It’s still awful sunny and hot out there, although, unfortunately, we’re just at the very beginning of the summer heat.  In fact, I imagine that in a month or two, we’ll be saying “do you remember those days in early June when it only got into the low 90s, and it was only really unbearable for a few hours each day.  I sure miss those happy days of late spring!”  Nonetheless, the pond is still the place to be, and once I finish writing this post, I’m heading back down there with a crew of visitors to do some work on the beach and even further beautify the pond area.

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Along with the yellow irises, which are still pretty (although clearly past their prime), there are a couple of other attractive wildflowers blooming around the pond’s edge.  One of them, pictured below, can also be seen in the photo above.  I don’t quite know what it is.

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There is also a bunch of this pretty pink vetch, growing all along the water’s edge.

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There are also several more types of berries getting ripe that I didn’t mention in the previous post.  Among them is this bush laden with Juneberries , which had pretty flowers this spring, and now has lots of berries,with a very nice taste, but a slightly mealy unappealing texture.

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The courtyard, with its flowering trees (some kind of dogwood I think?), beds of flowers and freshly-mown grass, looks like the grounds of some sort of fancy resort this time of year. Image

In the courtyard can be found one of our most productive cherry trees.  Our climate is not quite right for sweet cherries (not quite sure why, but they don’t do well here).  The semi-sweet tart cherries, by contrast, do quite well.  Our main problem is growing enough of them to satisfy the ravenous hordes of “cherry-pickers” (human and avian), that strip the trees as soon as they begin to ripen.  The ones in this photo are too high to reach, which has saved them from being eaten thus far, although hungry folks with ladders will be along any minute now to pluck and eat ’em!Image

On the way to my house this afternoon, I walked through the Morningstar orchard, and passed by this mountain laurel plant.  When I left for Texas, it hadn’t quite begun blooming yet, and now the flowers are clearly past their peak, although they are still quite pretty.

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Last year, these bush cherries were absolutely covered with little red cherries.  For some reason this year, they grew far less fruit.  These berries, although small, are very sweet– sweeter than the sour cherries on the trees, and much less astringent than the goumis in my back yard.  They are an especial favorite of my younger son, who ran out to pick a bowl of them as soon as I came home and informed them that they were ripe.

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Don’t those just look delicious?  They are!

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