As much as I like my vegetable garden to be neat and tidy, and as fiercely as I fight unwanted visitors there, I can also let things go and tremendously enjoy the areas where nature takes its course: the meadows where turkeys like to nest, white from Queen Anne’s lace right now, a hillside filled with Staghorn sumac and pokeweed for bird food, and, of course, patches of milkweed for monarchs.
We gave up on growing fruit trees a long time ago because deer were running them over or devouring them. The only survivors are two pear trees. In the last few years, some animal, most likely a groundhog, was faster than us and picked the loaded trees clean just when the pears were starting to ripen. This year we decided to take action and try to keep the critters away with Epsom salt and Plantskydd, a deterrent that has worked well so far.
On my pear protection mission today I found a bunch of pears on the ground that the wind must have knocked down. Before I could lose myself in fantasies about what to make with them, I had to find a way to bring them back to the house. It was sweltering hot and I had no intention to walk up to the house to get a basket or a bag. For a brief moment I considered taking off my T-shirt to carry the pears but the idea of bugs eating me alive made me discard that idea quickly. When I looked around at the edge of the woods for some suitable receptacle such as giant leaves, I found a large piece of bark – perfect for the purpose.
The pears will go into my favorite Spiced Chocolate Pear Cake.