Woody decided to go for a walk today.  I joined him.
Amazing what happens when the leaves begin to turn
and  cool weather  decends.  As you search for Woody
there a few  other things to see.  And at the end there
is something unique and wonderful

This giant walnut tree was planted  by me according to my grandmother
It stands where once the outhouse stood.  And today  we have
more than a dozen walnut trees on the farm…loved and hated.

There are no apples  similar to these…NONE.  

The wild grape vines have spread across the trees…loaded  with tiny grapes.  Historic for sure.  It was Ontarion wild  grape vines
that saved  the French wine industry…vines like these.   Maybe Marjorie can make some wild  grape jelly.   All the fancy
wine growers have totally neglected these grapes…business opportunity for someone

A few weeks  ago we had lots of  chestnuts peeling back their thorny skin.  today there are none and the 
chestnut leaves are curling’

That little wood  barn was once on the farm where J.S. Wloodsworth was born in Etobicoke.  We had
it moved  up to our farm.  (J.S. Woodsworth the  founder of the C.C.F, which became the N.D.P.)
Not everyone knows that.

See those shaggy mane mushrooms.  Caught at the right time … before they turn to ink …and fried
up with butter and salt and  pepper…taste delicious…taste like pepper,  salt and butter.  Left to 
themselves these  beautiful mushrooms turn into a puddle of gross looking  black muck…only
eat the  new ones like the little fellow on the left.

We have a late crop of flax…best crop.  Planted by our son Andy.  A lot better than my flax  field…embarrassing.
Flax is the only crop on our farm that ever makes  money.  How it does this is  a  trade secret.

The big pond  is waiting for the ducks  flying south…a  flock  of them arrive  every fall and  gabble away to 
themselves.    Our farm was  rejected by real farmers.  Who wants a farm  dominated by a huge  7 acre pond
that takes 25% of the  farm?   Grandma and grandad  did.  They had  no choice really.  No money.  They
came to love  their patch of land as do we.

This forest trail was once the hill that led to the harvest floor of granddad’s barn.  

The green ball is a walnut.  Size of  baseball….loved by little red squirrels.  Pionneer farmers moving into Ontario looked for 
walnut trees for the indicated good land.    That couldn’t be  true.  Our land  is  worse than  poor…fit only for wild  things…plants  and
animals.  And Woody.   Best crop is stones.

This yellowish orange looking mushroom  seems to gather things on its sticky surface…bugs.  
Must be carnivorous.

Look  at those apples…think about them

The front pond is  now full of a  kind of green split weed…forgot the name.  Under here lives
one of our big snapping turtles.   I floated that old  bedstead  for him or her to get a little sun
before diving into the muddy bottom for the winter.  

Wild asters pick  a place to live. they have minds of their own…as does the milk weed.  Two weeks ago a lone Monarch caterpillar was 
feeding  here.  Now  gone … not enough time to go through the life cycle.  Thankfully there seem to be
more  Monarchs heading south this year but not our little fellow.   Our milk weed  patch was  once our best garden
but we surrendered it to the weed.   Real farmers hate milkweed…taints  the milk.

Yes,that is Woody.  He is always near even when I  can’t see  him.  And when I call and call and call I often  
turn around  to find him there.  Do dogs laugh?  You know, I think they do for every time I do this lost calling
routine he often  shoves his wet nose into my hand.

OK.. here is the big surprise.  Startled me really.  I was moving fence  rails  from roadside to field when what should appear in front of
my nose but these two apple…red streaked.  Delightful.   I had no idea the scraggly old  wile apple tree was capable  of  such
beauty.  “Must be wormy.”  I thought but only every tenth had  worms.  Did you know that there is no apple tree in the whole wide
world like these.   Apple seeds never  produce  the same apples.   Each seed produces  a  new apple variety.  To get the same
apples grafting is necessary…cuttings are  rooted.  Orchards are built with cuttings.   Our wild apple  tree has  no kindred.
It is alone,,,will never be replicated unless we decide to do so  Most wild  apple trees are not much use compared to the domestic
varieties.  Hell, they do  not even   have a  name for tis apple.  THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN.  Let’s name the apple…male
or female names accepted.  How  about Freeman for we found it on the Freeman  farm and  wild apples are ‘’free,  man!”
Tasteless joke. Names.  Could call it the Alan  apple tree … really vain to  do that.  Or the  Morgan…or the  Angus…or the
Woody.   Now there is an idea.  Not many apple varieties,  probably none, have been named after a dog.

alan skeoch
Oct. 6, 219

P>S>   See the pail of  apples in this story…all from that special tree.

PPS   We cannot call the apple ‘Red Streak’ because that apple variety if the founding  apple
of the British  Cider industry.  If you like english cider…then you owe it to that single
apple variety that was grafted  and grafted  and grafted.

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