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Posts Tagged ‘nectarine’

Nectarines

July 29, 2013 7 comments
Nectarine tree

Nectarine tree

This is the tree, one of the largest and most solid in the orchard.

And these are its fruits, supremely sweet and running with juice.

Nectarines

Nectarines

There’s some debate among scholars as to what the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden actually was.

Some say it was a pomegranate, others a fig and others a grape, rather than the traditional apple.

I think it should have been a nectarine, because there are few fruits more tempting.

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Tantalising butterfly

July 22, 2013 2 comments
Giant banded grayling butterflies on a nectarine 2

Communal dining

Checking to see if the nectarines were ripe (which they aren’t quite), I found some badly bird-pecked ones.

Not only that, on one of them 2 butterflies were gorging themselves silly.

For identification purposes (to clinch they were Giant Banded Graylings), I wanted to photograph one of them with its wings open.

And so the pursuit began.

Viewfinder against eye and finger on shutter release, I chased my target from tree trunk to fence post to rock and back again to nectarine.

Despite sitting for minutes at a time in full sunshine on its various resting places, it never once fanned out its wings to sun itself.

In the end I had to be satisfied with the blurred image I caught first time on the nectarine.

The nearest I got

The nearest I got

Cherry thieves

June 26, 2013 3 comments

 

Durone di Cesena cherries - staple diet of golden orioles

Durone di Cesena cherries – staple diet of golden orioles

I have no actual evidence but I think it was golden orioles that stole our cherries.

They’ve been audible for days, making their musical ‘tiddly-oo’ call in the trees.

They sound quite near but despite looking hard for them I’ve only ever glimpsed one once. It was so striking – a male, yellow all over except for black wings and tail – that it looked unnatural, as if it ought to have been in a tropical forest.

Yesterday we went out for an hour or so and in that time all the cherries which I’d hoped to nurse to ripeness completely vanished.

A few were left on the ground, with stalks snapped through, and one or two were obviously inaccessible even to an acrobatic bird.

This was our best cherry crop ever (I speak comparatively) and we did get a few but they’re a lot nicer ripe.

It would be just like those orioles to deny us even the sight of them in the orchard. The jays and crows are more blatant which is why this time they’re not my number one suspects.

The orioles will be eating the wild cherries now, with their beady eyes on the nectarines …

Baby nectarines

May 9, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been a bit worried about the nectarine tree which had a hefty dose of leaf curl this year.

It also flowered just when the weather was wet and windy and there wasn’t much chance of pollination.

It’s never been a big fruiter: the nectarines it produces are wonderfully sweet and juicy, but small and few in number.

However there are a few coming along this season.

The first photo was taken a fortnight ago. The second photo (of a different cluster) was taken today.

A newly-formed nectarine

A newly-formed nectarine

A different cluster, one of them overtaking the others in size

One nectarine is getting quite big

Poor year for nectarines

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment
In bloom despite the weather

In bloom despite the weather

The nectarine tree is determined to bloom.

This is in spite of the fact that no self-respecting bee would venture out to pollinate in this wind and wet.

At least the blossom is pretty.

In fact I’d grow a nectarine tree just for that, even without the possibility of fruit!

Nectarine blossom

March 24, 2013 Leave a comment
Open

Open

A fortnight ago the first pink appeared on the nectarine buds.

I’ve been watching ever since as the pink part got bigger and bigger but stayed resolutely closed.

Then suddenly this evening the first flower opened.

In fact it opened as I watched it.

I know because I took a photo, then decided to take another, and already the bloom was almost unrecognisable!

Fu

Fully open a few minutes later

Dilemma

March 11, 2013 1 comment
Raindrop by a nectarine bud

Raindrop by a nectarine bud

This photo illustrates well the dilemma which exists this time of year.

The fruit trees should be sprayed with a mix of insecticide and fungicide at what’s called ‘pink bud’ time.

However the buds develop and show their colour (pink or white, depending on the kind of tree) right through a period when there’s almost constant wind and rain and no spraying can be done.

Once the flowers open it’s too late: the insecticide, as well as killing larvae of harmful insects, would decimate the bees and ruin chances of pollination.

Here a raindrop hangs from a nectarine twig where a bud is showing a pink tip.