Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Weather: Some rain Sunday and Monday, but cold mornings continue to send signals of changes coming. Last rain, 10/9.
What’s blooming in the area: Hybrid roses, Maximilian sunflowers, pampas grass.
Beyond the walls and fences: Leather leaf globe mallow, purple asters.
In my yard: Large leafed soapwort, calamintha, winecup mallow, chocolate flowers, anthemis, blanket flower, French marigolds, chrysanthemums.
Bedding plants: Wax begonias, sweet alyssum.
Inside: Zonal geraniums, moss roses.
Animal sightings: Rabbit, goldfinches in the Maximilian sunflowers, geckoes, ants.
Weekly update: This is just not a self-perpetuating fruit area, despite the many apricot and apple trees. Bees may have been imported to fertilize the flowers, but there are few animals to spread the seed by eating the fruit.
Even natives like junipers don’t always have their berries plucked.
But what’s a plant to do when its bounty dries on the vine or twig?
Apples shrug off their fruit to save themselves from carrying the extra weight into winter. I don’t know if apples behave like the watermelons described by William Weaver that nurture their seeds inside their moist wombs. In the past, when apples were pressed for cider, the unused debris was thrown away. Ian Merwin said, seedlings "sprouted naturally in pomace piles." Saplings certain seem to appear wherever they can begin undetected.
My neighbor’s Russian olive has a different strategy: it throws off the fruits with a few leaves to help them fly away a bit. One landed in my drive this past week. I’m not sure how all the others I cut down got here.
The buffalo gourd down the road uses gravity. It’s growing at the top of a road cut where it’s vine tumble down the bank. The fruit accumulates at the bottom. One must have rolled across the road, and on down the slight grade to lodge in the grass around a fence. On the other side is an active hay field, whose owner cannot be happy to have to worry about its fruit infesting his bales.
Merwin, Ian A. "Apple Tree Rootstocks," Cornell University website, summer 1999.
Weaver, William. His observations on watermelon were discussed in the post for 30 August 2015.
1. Pyracantha berries are eaten in other parts of the country, but never here. Ones in town, 4 October 2016.
2. Privet berries are also neglected here; 5 October 2016.
3. Juniper berries in my yard, 5 October 2016.
4. Sand cherries drying on the twig in my yard, 5 October 2016.
5. Apples fallen in a nearby orchard, 4 October 2016.
6. Russian olives in my drive, 5 October 2016.
7. Young buffalo gourd vine hidden in the grass near a hay field, 4 October 2016.