Abundant Harvest

The monthly Picture This Photo Contest sponsored by Gardening Gone Wild has the theme Abundant Harvest.  I can’t say we currently have sufficient output from the vegetable garden to qualify for abundant harvest.  I could harvest all those Cosmos that I pictured in my previous post but that seems a bit wasteful — to pick all those flowers just for a photo op.  So instead, consistent with the GGW guidance, I explored some of our previous harvests.

I went through our many picking basket shots

One of many picking baskets

One of many picking baskets

and the various apple baskets

one of many apple baskets

one of many apple baskets

and the many flower bouquets

One of many flower bouquets

One of many flower bouquets

and even the wild wineberries that we harvest.

Wineberries grow wild in the White's forest

Wineberries grow wild in the White's forest

I even looked at the fiddlehead fern salad that we enjoyed in Boston

Fiddlehead fern Salad in Boston

Fiddlehead fern Salad in Boston

but I found nothing that so profoundly expressed the theme of Abundant Harvest as this image from the Lake Market in Calcutta.  This will be my submission to the October Photo Contest…

Vegetables at Lake Market, Calcutta

Vegetables at Lake Market, Calcutta

To fully appreciate this scene you have to understand that these vegetables arrive in the middle of the Calcutta metropolis from market gardens in the suburbs only by a difficult early morning journey (the traffic is incredible) and then they will all be sold that day (forget about refrigeration) for use later the same day.  While Calcutta may not be on everyone’s tour list for the first trip to India I guarantee that a visit to Lake Market will make you think carefully about what you have gained and what you have lost with the demise of the farm/market economy.  Most of the crop land around Calcutta is incredibly productive with as many as three crops a year.  We toured one farm that was about as big as our own 7 acres and it made us think twice to realize how many people were supported by the same quantity of land in the suburbs of populous Calcutta.

And The Birds Keep Coming (and the berries too)

This morning we did our normal sunny day routine of starting the day with an hour in the garden before breakfast just watching the birds come and go at the Mulberry tree.  Beth has come to appreciate the meditative quality of getting into the pace of the birds.  Normal routine is probably not the right descriptor because even though the general approach is the same there is always some surprise if you are patient.  This morning I noticed a tiny participant in the morning events.  It was a Ruby Throated Hummingbird perched on a vine in the tree.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Now I’ve seen the hummingbirds flitting about the yard but I don’t remember seeing one perched before.  Everything about them looks so delicate.  And yet, as Beth noted, if you look them in the eye you could say they have an attitude…

Another occurrence this morning was the first time I’ve seen the Baltimore Oriole go into the yard close to the house.  He was in and out of the cherry tree and going down to the ground in pursuit of some insect or worm.  The remarkable thing about spotting the Orioles so regularly is the number of years we never saw them (or noticed them which is hard to imagine given their brilliant orange coloring).

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Other mornings have brought equally interesting sightings.

Baltimore Oriole (female)

Baltimore Oriole (female)

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) eating mulberry

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) eating mulberry

Beth says she thinks he looks like a penguin

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Overhead I have seen the Great Blue Heron come by on a couple of mornings

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flying overhead

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flying overhead

And of course the Bluebird is a constant favorite

Male Bluebird (Sialia sialis) and breakfast

Male Bluebird (Sialia sialis) and breakfast

And lest it appear that all we do is watch birds, we have been picking blueberries every day.

30 year old Blueberry row (Bluecrop is the best of the bunch)

30 year old Blueberry row (Bluecrop is the best of the bunch)

A fine crop of blueberries

A fine crop of blueberries

So far we have frozen several gallons and we are eating them morning, noon, and night…