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Apple Picking!

I didn't go last year because of Hurricane Irene, so I was glad to be able to visit our local orchard and pick some early apples.

Today only Gala (a favorite for eating) and MacIntosh (don't really like them, but they're good for applesauce) apples were ready to pick. Unfortunately the Gala trees were overloaded with bashed and half-rotten apples. At first I thought they were suffering from some kind of blight, but it turned out that all the damage was caused by that big hailstorm we had in July. Thankfully the MacIntosh apples were mostly undamaged. We also managed to nab some white peaches that we're planning on using for a pie. Next week the Cortlands should be ready. Last fall we made at least five apple pies--let's see if we can break our record this year!

At least the few intact Galas we picked have good flavor...

Our front yard has been literally swarming with butterflies for the past two weeks, thanks to our butterfly bushes. They seem to like "Petite Plum" and "Royal Red" the best. So far I've seen monarchs, swallowtails, lots of painted ladies, and the occasional "Astyanax" red-spotted purple. I have to be careful with the front door because I've almost let some into the house!