My initial take on the wild food crops looks like this. EVERYTHING is running late this year. You name it and it is true.
Slightly more than half the trees have apples. The trees that have them have a lot of them. Those trees that have a good crop are also producing small apples.
Most of the apples are now smaller than a quarter in size. What’s my guess as to why that is? This spring’s heavy rains took down many blossoms on some trees, but late blooming trees benefited from those rains. The trees that produced fruit produced so many that it is limiting the size. Many orchards actually pull off excess apples to enable the trees to produce bigger fruit.
Another two or three weeks will tell us much more about the size of the crop and the fruit.
Acorn and Beechnut Crops
It’s too early to draw any conclusions about the acorn and beechnut crops. I have seen both very small and some larger acorns along with some trees that have no crop at all. Again, mid-August will be a better time to assess things.
The good news for the bears in particular is that the blueberry crop is both big and late. The rains have made the berries big but ripening late by (you guessed it) about two weeks. The field at J.E. is loaded with low-bush blueberries. Wild red raspberries are also in great supply now.
That did not stop a bear (or bears) from hitting John’s feeders again last night, which he forgot to bring in. Which makes me renew my question: Did they smell the seeds, or do they check his yard every night in hopes of finding food? I think it is the former. Although birdseed does not have a very strong scent, it certainly is strong enough for them to smell it from great distances. They ALWAYS show up the night that you forget to bring in the feeders.
The rains produced a bumper crop of many kinds, including bulb plants, like iris that bears also love. Remember my video of them eating iris at the swamp?
I have not come across much mountain ash yet to assess that crop.
The highbush cranberries appear to be having a good year as well.