Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apple Picking in Yorktown Heights, NY

Amber and I enjoyed our visit to Wilkens Fruit Farm in Yorktown Heights, New York (roughly 35 miles from our apartment in the bronx.  The Fall colors were out in full force along the Sprainbrook Parkway, which made the drive one of the true highlights of the day.

Amber and I took advantage of the Columbus Day and decided to enjoy our first ever apple picking adventure.
Amber, although slightly vertically challenged, was very determined to fill our basket with apples.
You can clearly see that she was very proud of each apple she was able to shake from the trees.
I was more interested in eating the apples than picking them.  I justified this as quality control and ensuring that the apples were up to standard.  Also, I really like apples!

By the end of our picking adenture, we were tired.  We had picked a half bushel of apples which is roughly 24 pounds of apples.  The basket was a mixture of Baldwin, Red Delicious, Ida Red and McIntosh Apples.  The Apple in the palm of my hand was the last one we picked and it was the most perfect of them all.  The Baldwin was a first for boh of us, but it is definately our new most favorite of the apple varieties.

As far as farms go, Wilkens is not the best one that I have been to.  The crops / orchads are not clearly marked and you are almost forced to eat the apples to determine what you are picking. The tractor ride is lame at best. It looked more like riding in the back of a pick up truck with 40 of your closest freinds.  There was no attempt to make this the traditional farm hayride exerience.  All-in-all, Amber and I enjoyed the trip to Wilkens Fruit Farm.  We stopped at the gift shop for some farm fresh honey, some fresh pressed apple cider and the highlight the fried to order apple cider doughnuts rolled in sugar.

The experience was also a little bitter sweet for me as it was a reminder of my grandfather who passed away just weeks before our wedding after a battle with Parkinson's Disease.  My Grandfather was a blacksmith by trade and a green thumb  by passion.  In the later stages of his career, he had his own business that he ran out of a shop in his back yard which was nearly an acre.  Just beyond his shop was his garden which was a highlight of our visits every summer.  Just beyond the garden at the back of the property was my grandfather's orchard.  He planted a fruit tree for each of his grandchildren.  The tree that he planted for me was an apple tree.  

about six or seven years ago my grandfather decided to build his own apple press which was entirely his design.  He rigged a mulching machine to spray apple chunks into his barrel shaped press where he converted the solid apples into liquid apple cider.

Grandpa, where ever you are, the cider at Wilkens, while very good, didn't hold a canlde to yours. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who's really in control here?

Our dog Jager has started to take some liberties as of late.  She is a five year old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who (as with many dogs) seems to think that, if she is not human, than she at least deserves to be treated like one. Although very hyper, she is generally well behaved.  She has started to actually follow directions when we tell her to go lie down, and she dutifully stays out of the kitchen (at least when we're home).  One of her rules is that she is not allowed on the furniture unless invited up.  Quite often, she will beg with big cute eyes until we invite her up, especially on the bed.  Once up, she successfully takes over the entire bed and flops around in pure doggy bliss until we get tired of flailing paws and send her off.  Usually she obeys right away, though sometimes she seems to think that if she curls up at the end of the bed, makes herself really small and looks at us with big pleading eyes then we will let her stay up.  I have to admit, sometimes this works for a little while longer.

When we're both awake, she almost never gets on the bed without an invitation.  Lately, Jason has been getting up before me and Jager has taken this as an open invitation to take his place.  I don't usually mind because she stays still and keeps me warm, so I let her stay.  She must have discovered that if she is quiet and stealth enough that she can get on the bed without us noticing, because the other morning Jason and I woke up to her curled up on the corner of the bed...neither of us had noticed her get up, though Jason did briefly think he had nerve damage when he woke up and couldn't move his legs...  See what I mean about liberties?

Well, tonight she topped it all.  Another one of Jager's problems is that she sometimes pees in the house when we are gone - in fact, we have lost many a rug to her daytime exploits.  Because we are gone so long, we don't like to keep her in her kennel all the time so we have taken to placing pee-pads in her favorite spots and she is now trained to use them should the urge require.  Up until tonight, she has politely reserved their use for daytime.  Tonight, however, as I am sitting on the couch working some things, I look over as she unashamedly squats on the pads and pees...right in front of me!  I yelled her name in shock, and she didn't even look worried.  

So, while our dog seems well behaved, I'm beginning to think that she listens just well enough for us to think that we are in control, when in fact she wears the proverbial pants in the household.  Hopefully we train our children slightly better...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...