Wednesday

Apple Picking Crows




I'm not sure how many apple trees it takes to make an orchard but seven feels like we have one whether it is or not.  Two of the trees are 'transparents", an old-fashioned heritage type of apple not very good for storing or shipping but delicious all the same.  Or would have been if not for the local community of crows.

I've been seeing the crows in the top of the one of the apple-filled trees for the past several weeks.  Mostly in the mornings.  Usually two crows walking and hopping through the branches while another crow  stood guard on a near-by fence post.  They seemed to be having a good time.  I could hear them talking to each other, not a barking caw but more of a murmuring back and forth.

On my walk down to the garden I've been stopping and having one of these apples and there has been household talk about baking a pie. The apples are green but sweet, just tart enough to have a nice crunch.  They seemed ideal for pies, turnovers or jelly. Organic, of course, and free.

The crows have been lovely to watch flying away with the delicate green apple held by its stem in their beaks.  David likes to think they have been taking the apples to their queen, who lives, he is sure, in the highest pine in this Bethel Forest. Queen Corvina and her consort, Most Black. 


But it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that the entire crop, each and every apple, had been harvested by the crows. There isn't an apple left on this particular tree.  They were not interested in the other types of apples, just the transparents and just this one of the two transparent trees.  A crow delicacy it would seem.

Presumably somewhere nearby there is a tree filled with apples.  Heritage apples nestled down into crow's nests.  Apples either being enjoyed this very moment or tucked away for the winter months. All my life I've heard rumors of crows gathering and storing shiny objects.  Treasure troves of lost rings and Faberge eggs along with gold and silver coins.  Into this sky-pirate hoard goes our apple crop.  Organic treasure, buried in tree tops.

I do not begrudge the crows these apples.  The pies would been a fine thing, I'm sure.  Especially if my 'broke-back' crust worked out.  Maybe because the apples weren't critical to our larder it has been easy to share.  And even better than the pie is the poem-like thought of an apple-filled crow's nest. The poem-thought will last much much longer than the taste of the pie and who knows about the jelly?

And so I thank the crows, who may have taken my apples but have left me smiling, all the same.