Some of the great joys of the orchard include:
- tasting the apples fresh picked from the trees
- waiting in anticipation for a new variety to fruit for the first time so that you can finally taste the apple.
- exploring for new apple varieties and then grafting them up in the orchard.
- slowly strolling through the orchard, studying the trees and watching the apple varieties differentiate as they mature.
- watching people enjoy the taste of all the different apple varieties.
- watching the old timers discover an apple variety they knew in their childhood.
- sensing the orchard in blossom in the spring, the smells, the sights and the vitality of nature. The return of life to trees and plants in the spring has got to be the most convincing proof that their is indeed a supreme being.
- meeting other gardeners and fruit grower and watching that passion in their eyes.
- collecting seaweed on the beach in the early morning, with the dogs running around and playing.
- enjoying the sights and smells of the flowers in the garden, roses, lilies, gladiolus, purple cone flowers, and bee balm.
- the pleasure of eating food from your own garden, know it is completely healthy and nutritious. One strategy to remain healthy is to know your food source. My butcher once told me, "If you don't know your meats; know your butcher." The same is true of produce. One of the benefits of living on a small island is knowing the other local producers.
- a bonus of Mother Nature, blackberries are prolific and delicious. They grow like a weed and must be cut back often.
- enjoying nature in the orchard, knowing it is a healthy environment for all species present. These experiences include
- a humming bird approach in three short bursts while I sit quietly in the orchard
- a pileated woodpecker snacking on a Winter Banana apple and not to eager to leave even when I chase him.
- a blue heron getting his lunch of frogs in the pond
- a small green tree frog sitting on a Northern Spy apple and corn leaf
- a tiny green snake up in a small pear tree
- many garter snakes enjoying the heat while lying on the straw tree mulch
- deer all around the fence drooling to get in
- eagles and vultures soaring overhead.
- huge families of quail sweeping through the orchard like a militia regiment and exploding in all directions if disturbed. The mother often will sit in the apple tree and cluck orders at the chicks below.
- canaries feasting on the thistle seed
- the soothing sounds of frogs singing in the evening.
This list is ever expanding as the orchard grows.