Fall Forest Harvest

We have about 40 acres of bush on the property where we live. Over the past six years that we have been here, we have cut a road/walking trail through this area. It’s about two kilometers long and provides a welcome quiet break at the end of the day.  Liia, our Bernese Mountain dog always leads the way which prevents us from seeing any wildlife. We hear the turkeys, grouse, and deer moving out of our way, but rarely get a glimpse.

While spring, with its carpet of wild flowers is very beautiful, I think my favorite season is fall.  All around, and through the bush are wild apple trees.  I don’t know why there are so many. It may be because the area was pastured many years ago and then just allowed to grow up wild. The entire south side of the bush is apple trees, one after the other.  No tree is the same as the next. Some of the apples are as small as marbles while others are as big as any that you would buy in the store. All are wormy. Some are bright red, others green, and some russet. Some seem to pick a day and all fall off the tree. Others don’t seem to have the sense to fall and rot on the tree. I’ve tried a lot of them (you can find some that are not too wormy or scabby). It’s like wine tasting…no two are the same.

The other cool thing that happens in the bush right now, is the appearance of puffballs. It’s no wonder that in less scientific times people thought that mushrooms were somehow a magical thing. The puffball seems to grow from nothing to the size of a soccer ball over very few days. they grow in different places every year. They all seem to grow at about the same time with no real indication of what causes them to “germinate” and grow. Right now there are about eight of the skull like things in various parts of the bush. We’ve eaten one this year. They are great anywhere that you would use mushrooms.

The other nice thing about the bush in fall is that the mosquitoes, horse flies, deer flies, and black flies are gone!

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