Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Here it is January and I just noticed there are a few figs left on our tree. No leaves, but figs. I remember that during the bountiful summer months, this happy fig tree gave us figs almost every day. As soon as we had eaten the beautiful fruit, others swelled to delicate peak of perfection. I can understand those who think they dislike figs because they look icky, or because they yield slimy, seeded fruit. But real men (and women) get them past the eyes and into the mouth where they cannot be doubted.
These are black mission figs, and you know they are ripe when they begin to sag, a day or two after their shiny black erection. The trick is to pick them before the birds find them hidden under a leaf (fig leaves cover very well, just ask Adam and Eve about that).
Oh yes, the other villains who sometimes discover the fructose before we do are the Japanese beetles. They are huge beasts that look and sound like bumble bees until you are able to analyze them carefully. The thing is, you don't feel like analyzing when they zoom by your ear with a threatening deep base buzz. Fortunately, the beetles tend to converge on the same piece of fruit instead of infesting the whole tree.
After the harvest appeared to be over, I did see about 4 or 5 immature efforts on one late branch. I remember thinking at the time, "I doubt that these figs will ever ripen." I had forgotten about them until the season (yeah, we have something similar to fall that we call "winter" in California) dispossessed our tree of her leaves. I must check on them tomorrow.