11. Sep, 2014

How selfless is nature? How selfish are we?

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, scrumping for apples up on the moors.

            As I scrumped away, beneath a canopy of twisted and gnarled branches, it was easy to see where it got its name from! This amazing crab apple tree which is probably 100 years old, still offers its fruits and leaves, not only to me, but to the caterpillars and moths, such as the green pug and the Chinese character, and eyed hawk-moth. Then there’s the bees and not forgetting the crows, the thrushes and the blackbirds, that eat the fruit. And when the autumn comes the fallen apples become an excellent source of food for foxes and badgers, mice and voles.

       On a more romantic note, the fruit of the crab apple tree has been linked to love. All you have to do is throw a few pips into a fire and say the name of the person of your dreams; if the pips explode it is a sign of true love. Even Shakespeare referred to crab apples in Love’s Labour Lost and A midsummer Night’s Dream.  So stories of these apples go back a long time.

       For me, as I walked away with my basket full of apples, I turned and looked back at the tree. You ask for nothing, I thought, and yet you give so much. You stand there alone, digging your roots into the earth and stretching your branches towards the sun. How selfless is nature? How selfish are we?