This year, our backyard gave us many surprises. Not only did we discover a peony bush and several other flowering shrubs, but the tree on the side of the house started producing apricots (I'm clueless in the tree identification department)! At first I was excited and wondered why they didn't bloom last year...but that quickly faded as the apricots fell with a vengeance, covering the ground and making a rotten, mushy mess.
The first night we picked up apricots, it lasted at least 40 minutes. We tried really hard to get Norah and Lucy excited about helping by singing 'the cleanup song', but that wore off pretty fast. After about two minutes, Norah started sighing over and over again, and saying how tired she was of helping. Lucy was much more enthused about being a "big helper!" However, she kept clomping around and accidentally stepping on the soft ones, mashing them into the ground.
As we gathered apricots from the ground and filled our bags, more fell from the trees, occasionally pelting us on our backs. At one point, Ryan chased away a bird that perched on a branch to pick away at at the fruit, causing even more to fall. We filled nearly 3 kitchen trash bags, and two days later, the ground was just as covered as before. Now, several weeks later, I've lost count how many bags have been filled.
I felt bad that we just threw them in the trash, especially since we still haven't used them for anything. So I was going to try and advertise for any local friends to come and take as many as they wanted. But seeing that everyone seems to already have their own fruits trees that need picking and cleaning, we decided just to wait it out. I want to try to make some apricot fruit leather, but we'll see if I can summon the energy to do so.
Now that cleaning up the apricots from the ground has become a pretty regular activity for us, it definitely isn't exciting for Norah anymore. While we cleaned up this morning she decided she would rather go inside and lay in bed. Lucy was content playing with a snail I found while cleaning up. The tree is thinning out now and the fruit is getting scarce, though I am hardly sad about it. But now we know that apricot trees are just not for us, and if we move into a house that comes with one in the backyard, it will be the first thing to go. ;)