Thursday, June 10, 2010

Off the mountain, looking for open sky

After precisely 1.4 days of good weather, rain and drizzle and lots of fog have returned to the mountain. Is this Seattle? I’m feeling as though it might be lately. The overcast sky makes the lush woods with its dense canopy of leaves look rather dark and gloomy, so my photos this week are taken where no canopy blocks what little light the sky offers.
In today’s case, the photo was taken at the neighboring apple orchard. So far, the apples are coming along nicely and some are even starting to turn red. My local area is a good one for orchards in general and apples in particular. The hills at the base of most of the mountains provide the well-drained soils that suits apples. Adams County, York County’s neighbor to the west, is more well-known for its apple orchards, but the northern portion of York County, where I live, is also good for them.

As the orchards meet the edge of the forest, they also provide food for wildlife, though the orchardmen aren’t thrilled with that. Deer routinely munch their way along the edge of the orchard, and wild turkeys are seen much more often in the orchards than I find them (or see signs of them) in the woods.

Some orchardmen have carbide cannons, set to go off at regular intervals, to discourage the visits. The wildlife quickly gets used to them, so they don’t work for long. The cannons seem better at discouraging large flocks of roaming grackles or blackbirds. Still, I’m glad the local orchard doesn’t use them, as I’m not sure I could get used to the sound.

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