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Friday, December 2, 2016


Friday, 8:15 AM.  30 degrees F at the ferry dock, 25 on the back porch.  Wind NW, calm with light to moderate gusts.  The sky is again overcast and cloudy, the humidity 83%.  The barometer is still rising, now at 30.19" of mercury.  The forecast is for temperatures in the 20's, with overcast skies and rain or snow for much of the next ten days.  Please!
   No other fruit tree of temperate climates is as valuable to humans as the apple. It has been cultivated from prehistoric times.  Its fruit is not just a dessert, but has served as a starvation staple in times past.  
   Apples can be eaten fresh or baked.  They can be juiced, which when fermented into cider, is as good as wine or beer to drink where water is not safe.   Apple trees, properly kept, can bear apples for hundreds of years.  The last I heard,  apples still fall yearly from the tree from which Newton's iconic apple fell, over four hundred years ago.
   There are hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties of apples in the northern hemisphere and now worldwide,  as the genetic makeup of the genus Malus is very plastic.  Perhaps the olive tree is as important in human history, but I doubt it.
After Apple-Picking

Related Poem Content Details

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree 
Toward heaven still, 
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill 
Beside it, and there may be two or three 
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. 
But I am done with apple-picking now. 
Essence of winter sleep is on the night, 
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. 
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight 
I got from looking through a pane of glass 
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough 
And held against the world of hoary grass. 
It melted, and I let it fall and break. 
But I was well 
Upon my way to sleep before it fell, 
And I could tell 
What form my dreaming was about to take. 
Magnified apples appear and disappear, 
Stem end and blossom end, 
And every fleck of russet showing clear. 
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. 
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. 
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin 
The rumbling sound 
Of load on load of apples coming in. 
For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking: I am overtired 
Of the great harvest I myself desired. 
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, 
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. 
For all 
That struck the earth, 
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, 
Went surely to the cider-apple heap 
As of no worth. 
One can see what will trouble 
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. 
Were he not gone, 
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his 
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, 
Or just some human sleep. 

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