Nothing says, ‘it must be Christmas’, to me more than the seasonal appearance of red Christmas plums in my home orchard and of the full glory of New Zealand’s iconic crimson blooms on pohutukawa trees.
In the current high temperatures, green plums reddened overnight. This morning, waxeyes, pukeko and possums all left signs of having tasted-tested the ripest part of the fruit, the side facing the morning sun. Half-eaten plums lay on the grass and broken twigs dangled from branches. Much as I love to pick sun-ripened fruit, the reality is that I must pick the near-ripened fruit if we are to enjoy any of the crop at all. I will put the ripest plums in the fruit bowl, free-flow freeze some for later use and stew some to be served as a dessert.
Possums also wreaked destruction on my heritage Strawberry apple tree. It is a delightful small early apple that ripens just before Christmas. We trapped several possums this week. We expect to trap more in the weeks to come. In other posts, I have described how possums are pests in New Zealand. They roam at night and also ravage native foliage, such as pohutukawa trees, and eat native bird eggs and chicks.
Putting possums and plums behind us for a while, Himself and I enjoyed coffee at a waterfront cafe overlooking the local marina. It is a happy place where people walk or socialise.
Crimson pohutukawa blooms feature in New Zealand Christmas images. With Christmas on my mind, I wish for peace and harmony, happiness and joy, and good health in your lives everywhere.