Summer in a Nutshell: Outacontrol, But Sorting Itself Out

Somehow, it’s August. Not only that, l spent last week, one of two between-semester weeks off, cooking, paying bills, catching up with my accountant, weeding, mowing, rearranging a few plants, and having meetings with mixed success. I did get a few things done towards a drawing that is, so far, a year in the making.

I knew that my garden was fraying, but it really didn’t sink in fully until I realized that I had completely forgotten about an empty spot right by the back door that I would have to deal should have dealt with in the spring—of 2020. Last week I realized that spot had taken care of itself. It’s not subtle in bloom.

Rudbeckia hirta, self sown and in bloom. Photographed on August 12, 2020.

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How Do You Know When a Pawpaw Is Ripe?

The pawpaws have been dangling, to the ground in some cases, since the end of September. Back at the end of May, I saw small clouds of the flies that pollinate pawpaws for the first time. They apparently did a grand job, because both trees have had plenty of fruit this fall. The pawpaws on the eastern tree are even larger than usual this fall. I ate the first one September 30—they are weighing in close to a pound and a half.

Big pawpaws on the eastern tree. Photographed on October 11, 2019.

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Fall Is Mostly About Leaves

I have been sporadically raking and moving leaves around the last couple of weeks, although most of the raking is still to come. Most leaves are still firmly attached to their plants. I love fall colors, so it is worth getting away from my desk in the afternoon.

Photograph of backlit pawpaw leaves showing fall color
Pawpaw leaves turn a beautiful bright yellow, which is especially striking when backlit in the late afternoon. Photographed October 26, 2017.

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The First Pawpaws Are Ripe

Pawpaws are very odd trees. They look very tropical with their big leaves. The fruit have a wildly attractive scent, but are plain looking, very delicate, and highly variable in size. Fruit size varies with the number of seed set inside. The littlest pawpaw in the photograph below probably has a couple of seeds inside, while the biggest probably has a couple of dozen—and they are big seeds. Continue reading “The First Pawpaws Are Ripe”

Fruit Trees, After the Drop

…Not just the drop season, but riots.

If you have ever raised apples or pears you are well aware of the June drop, when fruit whose seeds were not fertilized drop all over the ground.

If you raise pawpaws, you learn about riots. It seems to be an annual event that occurs about when you start to wonder just when it is going to rain. Some four-legged characters got into the tops of my two pawpaws a couple of days ago and tore off a lot of fruit, taking a bite (or more) out of dozens of pawpaws before tossing them overboard. The ground was littered. What type of characters? I did not see—I only found the wreckage on the ground in the morning. I suspect raccoons—I have caught them red-pawed in the past—but I could be wrong. Do possums eat pawpaws?

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