Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11: Ripening Fruit

My co-worker Joe returned from the Beech Hill Preserve today with what he called "something scary": a sprig from a blueberry bush containing a few berries already turning blue. Coastal Mountains Land Trust manages about 20 acres of fields on Beech Hill as a MOFGA-certified, organic blueberry farm. We sell 10-pound boxes of berries by pre-order, and the profits are used to help manage the preserve. Normally our blueberry harvest takes place in early to mid-August. The fact that Joe is finding berries already ripening indicates that the harvest will be several weeks ahead of schedule this summer. (That's the "scary" part, because it also means he may have to pull together a crew of blueberry rakers and packers a lot sooner than he thought.)

This morning a family of Canada geese was grazing along the edge of the Land Trust parking lot: the two parents and three half-grown goslings. They were big enough that I had to look twice to pick out the adults.  These too seem ahead of schedule. I guess early berries and big fat baby geese are the benefits of the beautiful warm weather we had for much of this spring. It gave a few things a head start. Other flora and fauna--many songbirds, for instance, and sea birds--seem to be on schedule, so there hasn't been a complete shift of the natural order. But enough for nature observation to be particularly interesting right now.

Ripening to blue--
handful of crazy berries,
this early June sky.

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