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May 24, 2011

Pine Farms Orchard

I believe an apple orchard, in blossom, is our reward for a winter of forebearance.   One of my favourite places to see a spring apple orchard is at Pine Farms Orchard, on King Township's 16th Sideroad between Jane and Keele Streets.   This 50-year-old orchard was planted on a beautiful rolling landscape and features row after row of minature apple trees, over many acres..                             (All photos by BarrytheBirder)  

I am always on the look-out for birds and its pretty hard to miss these two showy ducks at Pine Farms.   The one in the foreground is named 'Elvis' and the other is named 'Costello'.   I believe these are pied-coloured Muscovy Ducks.   If Wikipedia is to believed, and I quote verbatim here: "Male Muscovy Ducks have spiralled penises which can become erect to 20 cm in one third of a second.   Females have cloacas that spiral in the opposite direction to try and limit forced copulation by males".  Migawd! This can't be right, can it?   Wikpedia must have it wrong?   20 cm!   Spiral?!?   Well, on to more mundane matters, perhaps.  
Here's a sign (left) that caught my eye.   Each row in the orchard is labelled with the variety of apple with which it is planted.   I'd never heard of a Ginger Gold Apple.   Back to Wikipedia for the low-down.   This apple variety came into being as a result of Hurricane Camille in 1969 as it struck the orchards of Clyde and Frances 'Ginger' Harvey.   The parental cross of the apple is Golden Delicious and Abermarle Pippen.   Frances Harvey's nickname 'Ginger' became part of the official name in 1980s.   You, dear reader, can go to Google and read about the hurricane's part. 
I saw Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, Phoebes (above) but had a devil of a time getting close-up pictures.   Oh well, a good excuse to return on an other occasion.   Besides, I love their quiche in the cidar house cafe.  
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