Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bursting figs

Chalk this up as a learning experience.

I've been watching a couple dozen figs begin to ripen over the past couple of weeks and now the ripest of them have started to burst before they're fully soft and ready to pick. We've eaten about ten figs, but it appears the major part of the crop will be spoiled, or at least not able to ripen to perfection.

I think rain over the past three days has overloaded them with more water than they can incorporate. Next year I have to keep the fig tree better watered during droughts, especially as the figs begin to mature. Also, there's a damn bird messing with the figs on occasion. I also need to get a net to put over the tree. And I need to research the old Roman recipe for larks and thrushes.

Update: This week's Economist has helped me to develop some perspective on the problem of birds eating my figs. It seems bears are very busy this year eating Canadians. I don't especially like Canadians, except for Mark Steyn and sometimes David Frum when he's not being too annoying; but I also don't especially dislike Canadians. On the whole I'm not sure I approve of bears eating them indiscriminately. I would prefer the bears restrict themselves to eating the liberal ones. They're probably sweeter and chewier than crusty conservative Canadians anyway.

Update 2: This article (
got me to remembering the stalwart goose Mork, who terrorized all in the vicinity of our pond until Mr. C's dog taught him to be more respectful of others and then ate him. If I knew how to post pictures here I would post the one I have of Mom running from Mork that day at the picnic. First and only time any of us ever saw Mom run. I don't have a picture of Mork startling Jas and getting him down on the ground between the cars. And I don't have a picture of Mork continuing to attack even though Linda was beating him moderately hard about the head and neck with her riding crop. Most of all, I wish I had a movie of Alex dueling with Mork along the bank of the pond. Back and forth, Alex advancing with his giant supersoaker, driving Mork back, and then Mork advancing with beak and wing, fearless. A noble goose. A priceless memory. All the money and effort spent on paleontology is worth it for reminding me of watching that confrontation. Ah, the other memories of that great season when Mork ruled the pond and all within fifty yards of it, chasing even the horses when he chose to go into their pasture.

Update 10/2 - Linda reminds me that Mork played with the horses and that the horses were gone to their new owners before Alex was walking. Ergo, Alex had to duel with a different and later goose, probably one of a pair that was defending young.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your story about Mork reminded me of the story of Errol Flynn, a gigantic rooster.

When my mom was a kid, she talked my grandparents into letting her have chickens so they could have fresh eggs. Last I heard, you didn't need a rooster unless you wanted to raise chicks, but my mom insisted that she wanted a rooster.

Enter Errol.

Apparently Errol was a terror. Every day my mom would try to sneak out to the henhouse to collect the eggs. Errol would be nowhere in sight. He wouldn't make an appearance until my mom had collected all the eggs and was on her way back to the house. Then he would come out of nowhere and start to chase her. By the time she got to the back door, all the eggs would be cracked or broken.

One day Errol disappeared. My grandparents told my mother that they found him a new home on a nice big farm out in the country. I suspect he ended up an oven-stuffed roaster. :)