The Daily Dose

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August 9th 2013
Published: August 10th 2013
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The Daily Dose
People don’t always have the time or opportunity to get outside every day. That is why I created The Daily Dose. The Daily Dose is a glimpse into nature, to keep you in touch with the out of doors until you get out in it yourself. The Daily Dose may include a story, or, at minimum, a couple beautiful pictures of Outside. As you look at each picture, I encourage you to engage your senses. Imagine what it might smell like there. Is it a redwood forest? Eycalyptus? Then imagine the temperature. Does it look hot? Breezy? Really take a step outside and get your Daily Dose!

Now that I know how much fruit is up at the orchard, literally rotting on the ground, I feel compelled to go back up and pick. We have enough for us, but I’ll bring some down the hill for our friends and neighbors. (Nancy if you’re reading, I’ll bring some over tomorrow!😱 ).

It’s hot. I'm getting going right in the heat of the day, but that is the chunk of time I have available, so we work with what we have. The trail from the back gate heads uphill immediately. The 1st mile is open grassland and somehow completely sheltered from any breeze, so the air is heavy.

Once at Fern Lake things cool down a bit, but I'm still dripping sweat. Walking up the paved road for a 1oth of a mile, I veer off into the dirt once more onto the trail that leads to the back of Camp Via. Today I’ll start picking plums and finish with pears, since pears are the heavier fruit. Excellent. My elaborate strategy is set.

Passing plenty of plum trees on the way up, I decide to limit my interaction to eating until I reach the main orchard. Less carrying. The blackberries in this area are still not ripe, but the bushes are full! Another 3 weeks and I’ll be up here with my Tupperware and gloves.

Sampling a couple trees I choose one and start picking. I notice a tree that is no more than a dead looking “V”. Gnarled and twisted wood, with 2 tiny shoots coming off of it. Save for those two spindly branches, if you can call them that, you would think it was just firewood. Yet the little shoots are loaded with plums! I wonder how they compare in flavor to the other trees.

They do taste better than the others but I ponder this. It is because they are truly superior, or simply that they have remained on the tree longer as no one wanted to pick from the “ugly” tree, I'll never know and either way, they are plenty suitable for me, so I load my bag.

My satchel fills quickly and today I go west to see what’s happening with the apple trees. Over the rise, I see beautiful looking apples, dotting the tops of the trees like perfect Christmas decorations. All the ones on the ground have been eaten through from bugs, and I can’t reach any of the ones high up. I start thinking ladder. NO!! I'm not carrying ladder up here! LOL. I re-asses and see the tree is not the type for climbing and feels flimsy, as if might break a main branch if I tried, so I move on.

I find a single apple tree with a few low hanging fruits so I’m satisfied. I decide to cut through the tall grass into the center of the orchard to see what I see. Wow! An Apricot tree and it’s loaded! On my way up I passed the small apricot grove, but the trees had nothing more than leaves on them. This is my first year seeing fruit on an apricot tree here! How exciting! This one is bursting at the seams and I can’t wait to try one!

Ewww! Yuck. I spit it out. Try another one. Waaahh!! Super gross! It’s as if they rotted right on the tree. They taste like bad wine and something . . .even worse. Moving on!!

Staying on course through the brush to the pears. Thinking I’ll finish
loading up then make my way down the hill. I spot a stunning pear tree, buried back behind the scrub. The pears look extra special for some reason so I want to go there. Like a bird that's just spotted something shiny!

The tree is through a thicket of holly, dead branches, tall grass and other thorny foliage however, so it's taking a bit of effort. But I’m getting closer! And getting pretty scratched up as well. Ducking under and through, trying to get some of the thorny greenery away my skin with my poles, but still taking a little beating. Perhaps it will be worth it!

I’m about 10 feet away from the tree now, but still need to get through what seems an impenetrable wall of plants. I’m formulating my plan, assessing the area, seeing if there is a more viable way through. I start moving forward when I notice very big, lush, bright red mountains of poison oak everywhere. Uh oh.

I’m not allergic, but I also don’t rub up against it either. Hmm. I would definitely have to brush up against it to get through. But the special tree is right there! I'm
looking around for another way . . . but there’s nothing. I put my foot forward, ready to go for it, then decide to turn back. A rare moment of reason.

I’m not far off trail at all, but it takes a while to get back through the tangle of brambles. Once in the clear, I bear north. Nor far down trail is a beaten path into the middle of the pear orchard, requiring no special efforts on my part, so I head in to gather pears from here.

Such a magical place! And today so far I have seen exactly no one. I load my backpack and gear up for the trek down and out. Dropping down out of the orchard the heat increases and the air feels like it's crushing my lungs. I’m anxious to be off the hill and have the heavy pack off my back. Not so much so that I miss the opportunity to enjoy all that is around me, however. Something about harvesting the fruit makes me feel productive and made my time outside even more special. Thank you Mother Nature once again for the free food!

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you feel benefit from a little Daily Dose!

I hope you enjoyed this version of the Daily Dose!

(There are additional photos to enjoy at the bottom of this post)

Below is the link to my custom jewelry website. It has some great pieces made from natural materials, as well as tons of free photography downloads of – Nature!!

Additional photos below
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