Bad Friday

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Bad Friday
For those YouTube visitors keeping up with our attempts to harvest our first big crop of Colorado peaches, consider this a sad update. First, a little backstory. A few years ago Terri and I planted a small row of fruit trees alongside the garage: peach, apple, plum, and cherry. Last year we managed one apple and maybe three peaches. Nary a plum or cherry have ever been seen. Still, we share the hope of all farmers. This past winter, we suffered a devastating late season freeze that killed our prized Japanese Maple and wreaked havoc amongst the city's many fruit bearing trees. It promised to be a bad year for fruit. By some miracle, one of our two peach trees had been spared Jack Frost's ravages. Soon we had a bumper crop of gorgeous peaches nearing the peak of perfection. Terri and I were anxiously awaiting their ripening but always worried if we left them on the tree too long they'd become bear food. On Wednesday of last week, we decided this weekend would be the harvest. Though still not ripe, the hard peaches could finish their work inside the safety of our kitchen. Unfortunately, this was not to be. In our neighborhood, Thursday is trash pickup day—the best day of the week for the many bears roaming our streets in search of food. Bears are smart and hungry, not a great combination for those of us hoping our trash stays where it belongs—in the can and not strewn across yards and streets. Thus, Thursday nights after trash pickup has occurred, the bears have to find other means of feeding themselves. Friday morning I found one of our poor tree's two branches broken from the trunk, a dozen or so peach pits strewn about the yard, and for the pièce de résistance, a large black and gooey dump in the middle of my driveway. We had been robbed and then shat upon. There remain half a dozen peaches high atop the one branch. We're debating whether to risk the poor tree's last branch or climb a ladder and rescue them. It was a bad Friday and we're debating the fate of Sunday.
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Paul McGowan

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