Ok, ok. Back up. I like something about every time of year. If life were perfect, I would be living in a place with no fewer than four honest-to-goodness, well-delineated seasons. I think there's something gorgeous about a white winter, about new-fallen snow; I love seeing the first leaves of spring and the first birds returned from their winter migration; I love the warmth and alive-ness of summer; and I love the colors and smells of fall. And while life in California has much to offer, you typically don't get four distinct seasons unless you live up in the mountains. Here there really are just two seasons: there's the long, dry, hot one, and there's the damp, chilly, windy one. In between these two there's generally about a two-to-four-week transition period in October, and another one in April or May. And that's the extent of our seasons. It gets old after a while, I'm afraid. What I wouldn't give to see six inches of snow around here, just once....
But I digress.
You know what I like about this time of year?
This picture shows today's haul of produce that we picked in our backyard. Note that this is one day's haul; we get at least this much every day, or at least every other day.
In case you aren't able to tell from the picture, we have (clockwise from upper left): strawberries, blueberries, green beans, one yellow banana pepper, plums, more strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
A few notes:
- We've been harvesting strawberries at this rate for the last few months. For my birthday in April, my wife was able to make strawberry shortcake; and we've had at least a couple cups' worth every day.
- The blueberries have only really started to come in, en masse, in the last two weeks or so. There are a lot on the bushes that aren't yet ripe; we'll be harvesting for at least a month.
- The green beans only started within the last two weeks, as well. We expect them to keep going all summer.
- What you see here is just the advance vanguard of the plums. The tree is loaded almost to the breaking point. Within a month, we will have bags and bags of plums.
- The blackberry bush and raspberry bush will devour our neighbors if we aren't careful. They're covered with not-yet-ripe berries, and this is after we've been collecting them for a month, after we've already made one "bumbleberry" pie (made from a mix of whatever kinds of berry you have on hand), and we've got more than enough for another pie or two.
Yes, I really like this time of year. :-)