Monday, August 25, 2008

Partaking of the Bruised Plums of Paradise*

This is a special bulletin of the Magpie Telegraph Alert System.

Elisem, who is not only a jewelry maker and artist of immense talent but who also shares my birthday, is having a birthday sale. Not only that, but she's once again offering a draw for a gift certificate to those who spread the word and let her know about it (see that post for the details).

This time around, my pocketbook and I would like to thank the person with exceptional taste who bought Going Under the Hill. My credit card company and bank, on the other hand, are surely disappointed that I won't be going into further debt with them.

A few other things I'm coveting to an almost alarming level: Knock Three Times and Say Athena Sent You, Rose of the Vineyards, and (a little smaller, but shockingly adorable) Treasure Box.

Someday, I will end up with one of her very long linked necklaces, and a necklace-crown. Not today, though.

Another person whose jewelry I like very much, and who would probably appreciate the traffic, is Katie, aka Dragon's Den Jewelry.

Go on. Covet. Buy if you are so inclined and can. Elise's sale goes until September 1.

This has been a special bulletin of the Magpie Telegraph Alert System.


In other news, we definitely have a plum tree.

This is after Saturday's good-sized harvest

A very full plum tree.


We harvested three bags of mostly-ripe plums on Saturday and dropped them off with my mother-in-law to take along for her Sunday family visits. I'll get more today. They're a little tart, and absolutely yummy.

The over-growing nature and layout of the backyard - in particular the outrageous recent growth of the magnolia - means that our plum tree, unlike our neighbour's, is mostly in shade. Thanks to this year's record-breaking rainfalls**, we have an amazing bounty of plums, and thanks to the shade, ours aren't ripening quickly on the branch, while the neighbour's are very ripe. She doesn't seem to be interested in picking them, which means the local critters aren't eating ours.

That, and the squirrels are far more enamored with the black walnut tree (aka "The Stinky Nut Tree") hanging over the back of the yard from another neighbour. If I get it together enough, I'll collect some black walnut shells for dyeing.

Low-hanging black walnuts. They smell. The less ripe they are, the more potent the smell. Also, they are sticky.

But the moral here is: the more plums I pick now, the fewer will be squished into the ground in a couple weeks.

I took the loppers to the plum and magnolia on Saturday and almost immediately regretted it. I only took off a branch or two on each, and only new growth branches that I felt were seriously heading in the wrong direction, but I seem to have re-emphasized the lopsided nature of both trees. Both have already been pruned heavily in certain areas, and I think I just added to the weirdness. I'm hoping they both figure it out and send out slightly more well-behaved branches back into those areas next year, but somehow I doubt I'll be that lucky. Nature is nothing if not persistent, but it also never quite does what I want or expect.

*Title from "The Bruised Plums of Paradise," earrings by Elise Matthesen, currently living with me. The earrings, not Elise.

**Seriously, five times more rain than Vancouver? Hell's bells, man, that's just wrong.

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