Monday, September 23, 2013

Adventure Time - The Search for Plums

Ever have an real adventure?
The kind you need a treasure map to go on?

Well, one fell into my lap on the a few weeks ago.

I heard a rumour there was a plum tree
only a few miles down the road from my house.
I was say the least...

Problem was, there was no map.
Only a verbal description (that was rough at best)
of the general location.

As the story goes:  

"Just down from yer in-laws house, 
there used to be a lane way with an old freezer at the end for garbage.
On the west side of the road, there is an apple tree.
Behind it is the plum tree."

I became determined to find this mystery plum tree, 
growing in the wild, completely unsuspecting.
I spent a couple of days driving by the general area slowly....but no apple trees to be found!  
I figured the only way to find this mystery plum tree would be on foot.
So one day, I jumped in the car and drove to the area where I suspected said lane way existed.

It was a bright, sunny day with a cool breeze.
The fall colours still hiding, for the most part.
There was some evidence that the cold nights have been having an effect.
The red on this small branch was fiery!

The end of summer brings with it some pretty interesting shades and textures.
I love the bloated and puffy cattail!

Even makes my nemesis goldenrod look beautiful...

One of the things I love about this region is the 
abundance of beautiful rocks and minerals.

At this point in the adventure, I had walked south down the road away from the lane way.
I walked until I figured far enough to no longer be "just down from".
I had not spotted anything that looked like an apple tree.
(which, this time of year, should be dripping with fruit)

I was beginning to lose faith that I would find the mystery tree.

I stopped to take a breath.
I could see my car parked just in the lane way entrance.


My heart sank.  Is this really where the adventure ends?

That's when I happened to glance beside me for a moment.

I spotted an odd rock formation.
Something don't pile themselves!

I approached.

At this point I was feeling like an anthropologist, 
creeping around an ancient settlement.

I had discovered the foundations of an old homestead.
Two distinct sections of foundation.
I could just imagine the root cellar.
Trees were growing up in the middle of the rock-walled rooms.

Satisfied I had discovered something, I turned to leave.

Only to notice something else.

Not quite a path, it wasn't worn down.

More like the grass was pushed aside by something...
and it lead me over the hill and away from the road.

I was following the pathway towards a view of a small pond.
That's when I heard buzzing...LOTS of buzzing.

I looked up and saw it.


There were not many plums left on this tree.
Most had been plucked by deer or sucked dry by bees.

The longer I stood there...the more bee work I was able to observe.
I took my husband by later on that day only to notice how fast those bees really work!

Above is a picture of the plums as I observed them earlier in the day.
By the time I came back (approx 4 hrs later), this bunch was almost gone!

The plum on the far left has a bee on the you an idea of the size of the bees.

I managed to grab one lower hanging plum.
I gotta be honest...not really a fan of plums that I get in stores.
The skin in tough and bitter...inside the flesh seems mealy and tart.

These plums were different.
They were tender, juicy and sweeter than I could imagine.

Definitely worth the trek!

The lower branches had this dark protruding growth.
I'll have to do some research on it.

Just before leaving this glorious find, I glanced down and saw the bees leave behind the pits.
Some were nice and dry already.
Those bees sure do pick their fruit clean!

I brought home 5 pits to start plum trees of my own.
Until then, I will take great pleasure in hiking to our wild plum tree next August & September.
(I'll be sure to bring a small step ladder or a cherry picker too!)

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