This time of year, I long for the Cherry trees. White blossoms tinged with hint of pink in March, a sweetly scented confection, attracting all sorts of bees to a drunken pollen orgy. Often their legs so full of pollen, they cling to the branches lazing in the successful harvest as if dead to the world.
April brings a snow flurry of petals, lazily drifting down covering paths & driveway, exquisite organic snowflakes that melt as quickly under the warm spring sun. The leaves now emerging large, soaking up sun and rain, camouflaging shelter for birds.
Next emerge the delightful bulging fruits, in an array of Spring Greens as the begin to plump. The chatter of baby birds fledging… Flying here & there following their parents’ calls.
May oh, sweet May, fruits change from green to pink to deep dark plump red jewels glistening in the sun.
Robins, summer tanagers, bluebirds, cardinals, grosbeaks, jays, mockingbirds, and woodpeckers flock to snatch a fruit, or snack on insects attracted by the bounty.
When my future husband found the 7 acre wooded property back in 1983, there was a clearing in the woods with 3 Cherry trees in bloom. A shaft of light hitting them like a message from God “Thou shall build your home here!” And so he did.
He designed the house & garage around those Cherries.
For years, he & his young daughter picked cherries every Memorial Day weekend. The bucket of the large Green John Deere would be fitted with a seat, with a seat belt, and up, up Katherine would be lifted with a bucket to harvest, giggling with delight.
Other years when I joined the family our vintage red pickup would be backed up to the hill and ladders lashed securely to climb up to into the canopy. Buckets and buckets of cherries would be harvested.
These Cherries were not sweet like Bings sold in groceries stores… These were a tart variety. Freshly baked pies with lattice tops were made, dusted with cinnamon sugar. Pies, or tarts, or cobblers and buckets of cherries in cute blue plastic pails would be delivered to lucky friends and neighbors.
Cherries would be pitted, then frozen for a taste of Spring later in the year or made into creamy Cherry ice cream.
Slowly the trees began their decline. Life expectancy is only 20 to 25 years. One by one the were removed as the remaining tree languished!
I miss those trees at Entwined Gardens. I miss the anticipation, the picking, pitting, baking & sharing. Most of all, I miss Katherine’s excitement of bringing new friends over well into her twenties to share the joys of picking cherries.