Sunday 1st October 2023 - Up in the Skies and First Fig
On Thursday morning we took a trip to Wroxham, so that I could have the battery replaced in my watch at the jewellers, Bradley Hatch. We arrived before they opened so decided to have a wander around Roy’s Garden Centre. I found a replacement rose for one of our watering cans, before we went outside to the plant and pot area. A lady, who was perusing the plants, asked as she pointed skywards, if we had seen the sun. Normally at that time of day, you can’t look up directly at the sun, well you could but if you did you’d risk damaging your eyes, but Thursday morning it was surreal. Masked by whatever was in the atmosphere it was a lilac blue and very strange, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. We did in the end, paid for the rose, and outside, the staff of Bradley Hatch were checking the window displays prior to opening. They too were amazed, one questioning whether this was the apocalypse. Later it was revealed, in the media, the sun had been masked by smoke from wildfires in Canada. Now who would have thought smoke would have travelled that far and maintained its intensity. I took a photo, which acts as a record, but it fails to show the true spectacle, as observed with the naked eye.
Looking up in the sky again, but this time on Friday, after the sun had set and the skies were dark, we saw the Harvest Moon, which was the last super moon of the year. Classified as a super moon, when the moon is its closest to the earth, it was well lit revealing features on the surface. I took a photo of the moon; you can’t see any of its terrain but it does confirm how bright it was.
I'm getting quite excited. The first fig on a juvenile tree, grown from a cutting I took late last year, is almost ripe. I love figs but find those sold in shops disappointing, simply because they have not been allowed to ripen on the tree. Transporting fully ripe figs any distance, would not be commercially viable; they are very soft and once picked they start to rot within a couple of days. The photo shows there is a second fig which is still green; what you can’t see are next year’s figs starting to form in the nodes. Next spring, I will plant the young tree in the ground, where it will hopefully flourish and provide us with figs in the years to come. Fig trees have very strong root systems and should never be planted near buildings as the roots could damage foundations. For this reason, ours will be planted at the back of the flower border, between the cotinus and greengage trees, where its roots will have freedom and not do any damage.