I got all geared up for pear harvesting yesterday, finding a large box for the numerous pears I remembered seeing on the tree the last time I checked on them a few weeks ago and enlisting A. to come as my body guard, wielding an ax handle to protect me from Don Juan the ram. Donnie does love his pears. Then we got up to the pasture and I literally stopped short in astonishment.
There were no pears on the tree.
Well, let me amend that: Closer examination revealed a total of three pears on the tree. Three. THREE. What in the hell?
I could not imagine what happened to all those pears I saw just a few weeks ago. The MiL suggested maybe some of the high winds we had a little while ago just blew them all off the tree and the sheep ate them off the ground. But even she was astonished that ALL of the pears (okay, okay--all except three pears) disappeared.
We got a couple of dozen from the smaller pear tree a few weeks ago, so we have been eating some, but there will be no pear canning this year. There was no pear canning last year, either, thanks to the cold, wet summer we had. The year before that, though, I canned 39 quarts of pears. Nature is fickle, indeed.
Oh well. Gives me more time to deal with the crazy harvest of Concord grapes I'll be faced with this week. And the tomatoes, of course. Always the tomatoes. Never fear, duckies--a shortage of pears doesn't mean a shortage of sweaty hours spent canning in the kitchen.
Isn't THAT a relief.