Odorless Autumn


I was talking to the grandkids the other day, reminiscing about going with my mom and dad to pick apples in the local orchards, but I realized fast they were tuning out, because, after all, the apples they know come from South America, or, if their folks are willing to pay the price, from the local Gen-Crop.

But there was a time, I'm sure of it, when my folks even had apple trees on our own property, before we were rezoned for nodal development and had to sell those acres or lose them to eminent domain. Of course, from about the '20s on, our trees didn't produce, because the Bee Virus made most fruit trees sterile, except for the ones in those orchards big enough to afford their own robo-bees or some other kind of self-propagation tool from the university. So at that time, we still got apples locally, I'm pretty sure, but it didn't take long for that to end. NYS Proposition 19 closed our borders to the migrant apple-pickers, and in no time at all, the big orchards went under, followed in the '30s by the local wineries, or at least the few that still grew their own grapes. You can still go on a wine tour today around one or two of the Finger Lakes, but the wine is made entirely of grapes from Calexico. I took our oldest granddaughter to one of the wineries, and she liked the rides, the arcade, and the gift shop, but I have to say that the wine was not what I remember.

If I close my eyes in October and think really hard, I can conjure up that smell of apples rotting on the ground in the crisp fall air. I can picture the way the Monarch butterflies would hang around the milkweed, until the hot years came and the butterflies stopped migrating south. The sudden November frosts just killed them dead, and since then, I don't recall seeing Monarchs outside the museum. I asked my grandson what kids study now in school, now that they can't take chrysalises in a jar and watch them open up. Or tadpoles, for that matter, I guess; haven't seen a tadpole in what seems like forever.

He said they do a unit on mosquito larvae.


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This page contains a single entry by KAZ published on September 27, 2007 6:26 PM.

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