Thursday, November 17, 2011


November has reached the point where it feels and looks quintessentially Novemberian to me. The sky is grey and heavy. The leaves have fallen. The air is chilly, if only just beginning to verge on raw. The day lacks only, perhaps, that “wintry mix” of precipitation to make it not only quintessential but a stereotypically quintessential November day.

Notice that it’s more than leaves on the ground underneath these apple trees. The ground is littered with yellow apples, probably Yellow Delicious apples. It’s enough to make my heart sink. My farmer neighbor has lost a lot of his crop, and selfishly, that probably also means the ones he has will sell out quickly, depriving me of extending the enjoyment of that most perfect of all apples.

I have eaten Golden or Yellow Delicious apples from other areas. They aren’t half as good as local Pennsylvania Yellow Delicious. A good Pennsylvania Yellow Delicious apple is large and has a wonderful “sandy” texture to the fruit, in addition to the wonderful flavor. I don’t know if it’s the soil here that’s just perfect for them or if they lose something in the shipping from the west.

In any event, readers will likely notice more of my photos are not taken on the mountain right now. When I leave the cabin in the mornings, the light is darker than I like for photos. Soon, too soon, the decreasing daylight will force me to take all my blog photos for a week over the weekend. That’s one thing about November I don’t like. So I am extending my own photo season by taking photos out and away from the cover of the forest. I’m at that point in the season where the few minutes it takes me to reach the orchard on my drive down into the city, is enough to give me slightly better light, even on a quintessentially gray November morning.


The Crow said...

It is the soil. The particular, highly-mineralized soil, with its perfect loam-clay-sand ratio, found in the Adams orchard areas is referred to as Arendtsville soil.

Oddly enough, the same soil type (and name) is also found in a part of Texas, but I can't find my notes that tell me where, and I can no longer remember just where.

Another good apple, found at Boyer's Fruit stand, is one called the Arkansas Black, a variety of Winesap apple. If you like the Goldens (ever had a Grimes Golden? Superb!), you might like the Arkansas Black.

Carolyn H said...

Crow, thanks for the explanation about why the local apples are so wonderful. I've always found the local apples to be far superior. Interesting that a portion of Texas has that soil too, as I've never heard anything about Texas raising apples, let alone wonderful ones like the local apples. I don't know that I've had Arkansas Black. I will certainly be on the lookout for it. i've always liked the winesaps and thought they were very much underrated and under-available. Thanks again!