Friday, May 14, 2010

Crab apples and forbidden fruit

click photo to enlarge
"Forbidden fruit always tastes the sweetest", or so they say, but that certainly wasn't my experience as a child. In the small market town where I grew up there were abandoned and neglected apple trees, probably the property of someone somewhere, but which seemed fair game for young boys. On more than one occasion I gave myself stomach ache by eating the sour cooking apples and crab apples that hung heavily from the drooping boughs. Elsewhere there were tempting gooseberry bushes, and, even though we knew they were tart to the point of being inedible, still we ate them, and always we regretted it. Then there was the rhubarb. In a few places this grew on the grass verge by a roadside garden: in other words off private property, but probably deliberately planted there by the householder. A stick of this was palatable if eaten raw after each mouthful had been dipped in sugar, but the after-effects were uncomfortable to say the least. So no, I never found that forbidden fruit was the sweetest.

At the front of my house is a crab apple tree. It has become more than a little wayward over the years, and in the time since I have lived with it, I've started to bring it under some sort of control, cutting crossing branches, revealing more of the lower trunk, etc. Each spring it produces fine blossom, and each autumn a copious amount of fruit. Thus far the latter has been left for the blackbirds or has been composted. Perhaps my reluctance to do anything useful with the crab apples stems back to my childhood experiences with the fruit. However, this year, as I photographed the delicate blossom, I thought that perhaps we should look into using it for making jam, jelly, wine or something of that nature.

Today's image shows the end of one of the lower branches of the tree. I chose this one for a shot using the macro lens because it allowed me to have a large petal as the focal point towards the bottom right of the frame, the rest of the nearby leaves and blossom framing it and filling the upper left (the latter out of focus and therefore emphasising the foreground). And it gave me the opportunity to include some dark areas to give a little more contrast across the image.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On