Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Keeping an Eye on the Cherries

All along the northern section of the Niagara River Recreation Trail you will find cherry trees scattered along the edge of the steep embankment that drops down to the river. They are most common between the Reif Winery and Van de Laar Orchards. Though growing wild, these are not native wild cherries. Some ripen red, some black, and though small, they are sweet and delicious. I suppose the pits must have been spread by birds from orchards planted by the early settlers and the trees have now become naturalized. Cherries are still cultivated within sight of the Parkway.

You need to check often if you want to pick some. In summer the trail is heavily used: joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers, all sharing a six foot wide path with others simply walking their dogs or coming to picnic on the well kept grass. The lower branches are soon stripped of their fruit. On summer weekends there is quite a throng of tourists; I avoid the trail then. I like to go out there on weekdays, first thing in the morning, when it is quiet.

The birds are more watchful and for more hours of the day than the humans, so I know that if I am careless I will miss my chance. Last week I noticed the fruit was beginning to ripen and yesterday, when I went out for my early morning ride, on some of the trees there were plenty ready to pick. So this morning I put a little punnet in my saddlebag, and set off. I was just in time. The birds had indeed been busy and there were noticeably fewer cherries on the trees than yesterday.

It didn’t take long to fill my small basket.

I made this little sketch a week ago, when the first fruits began to ripen. As usual, I have posted to Flickr a number of photos on the subject.


  1. Beautiful composition. Hugs for free!

  2. This is interesting, and a beautiful drawing! Thanks for sharing it

  3. Absolutely lovely, Andrew, and I liked the tale that went with it...


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