7/21/13

Flirting with Death

Disclaimer:  No cats or humans were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Today was the day we chose to harvest the ripe raspberries and cherries from our trees and vines.  Of course, no job is possible without one's feline functionaries.


We started in on the raspberries.  Ever see a catberry?


I think we tired of picking the raspberries before all the ripe ones were gone, but it was a pretty good haul, all things considered.  That is a quart-sized container.


Then we turned our attention to the cherry trees.  This tree is still not looking very good, but we are optimistic that it will survive, even if it means cutting the diseased portion.  It's too soon to know if it will grow new foliage after the dead stuff drops off. 


Concerns over the tree aside, we started here.  This tree is a Black Tartarian, while the other one is a Bing.  Both trees need pruning badly because the cherries are way too high for either of us to reach.  We tried our measly little ladder, which was not at all helpful.  In addition, it was rather unstable, and so enter...

Tractor Man


It seems some sort of cape is in order here, but that will have to wait for another day.  Our plan was to use the bucket of the tractor to lift Mike up into the upper limbs of the tree where the best cherries were.


With me as the driver, what could possibly go wrong?  It did look a little complicated to me, but I had just one job.


Back for up.  Forward for down.  It's all in the hands, Man.


My one other instruction was this:  See that pedal?  That is the tractor brake.  Under no circumstances should you touch that pedal.  On the other hand, if you touch the pedal accidentally, then by all means, jam on the pedal with both feet!


The tractor is plastered with all sorts of warnings of the many ways one can die operating its many pedals, knobs, handles, and wheels.  Here are just a few of the ways one can meet one's maker.



I don't know what's going on in this image below, but it's clearly not a tractor feature one wants to avail oneself of.


But we are tractor warriors, and we especially laughed in the face of the warning you see below.


I repeat:  "Serious injury or death"  Hahahahahahahahahaha...surely they're talking to someone else, not us!

Okay, so here we go.  Up.........


Up really, really high..........


Smitty kept an eye out for marauding bands of raccoons and squirrels.  Don't want to destabilize anything, you know.


After covering all four quadrants of both trees, we had quite a haul of cherries considering those critters who got there and ate them before us.


Not a bad day's work.


And since no one died, it was a good day's work.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Mary Marcotte said...

Oh, send some of those beautiful cherries this way! They look yummy. I'm curious, if there are photos on your camera of the many warnings, and (God forbid) an accident occurs, how in the world are you going to convince anyone that you simply did not see/know/understand/decipher the stickers? Laughing in the face of danger is a bit foolhardy when there's incriminating evidence.:-)

sunny said...

LOL! to Mary! But she's got a point. Glad you all made it safely through the day. Now get those trees pruned, and get a sensible ladder. Because ladders have warnings, but not quite so many. Enjoy the spoils!!

Lyndsey said...

mmmmmm raspberries and cherries. I'm afraid in the face of cherries way up the tree and no ladder I'd have done the same, and of course you had Smitty to keep an eye on things.

treadlemusic said...

ROFL!!!! Great post!!!!! Been there/done that!!! Our cherry tree endeavor/picking was a huge success this year (at least, the first tree is done!). Ours aren't Bing, they are the tart ones and the birds didn't get to them before we tented the tree. I'm not sure why! Loved your assessment of the tractor's warnings!!!!! Hugs......(and prayers for your future survival/success!)

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

As the baby birds multiplied in the trees in our yard, I had to let the parent-birds have the majority of the cherries to feed the young ones. I think I got a half dozen or so off our one baby tree. Now we're enjoying the strawberries and hoping the squirrels will let us have some of them, too. Your cherries are the most gorgeous color, Barb, I hope they taste as good as they look.

Sarah said...

What a gorgeous environment you have! It looks like the weather is beautiful and warm for you too at the moment? My Dad and brother did a similar thing to prune a tree. Dad lifted James in the bucket from where he operated the chainsaw to lop the branches. My Mother was a very concerned worrying onlooker. She believed it should have been Dad who risked life and limb, not her son!

Brown Family said...

When I was helping on the farm, tractors did not have all those stickers! My warnings were from Dad. Don't get close to this part and don't touch the hot places. That about covered it. Oh and don't panic when the front wheels come off the ground when you are pulling the other tractor to start it! (this won was very hard to obey, the panic part, that is)

Lovely berries.

Nan

quiltzyx said...

All those warning sign on the tractor - OY! They remind me of the training from GM on the hybrid/electric vehicles. According to them, there should NEVER be a technician working on one of their electric/hybrid vehicles alone...there should ALWAYS be 2, one to work on it, the other holding the "shepherd's crook" to be able to pull the working one away if he touches the wrong thing! And so many illustrations with that guy with "X X" for eyes! Sheesh. (And we won't talk about the special 2 piece gloves, rubber inner gloves with leather outer ones that are to be tested/examined before donning EVERY time and sent in for testing every 3 months I think. Uh huh. Never happened.

ANYway, glad you two (oops - THREE, sorry Smitty) were safe & successful! I just finished the last of my cherries (store bought) the other day. Hope yours are even better!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, we have some of those labels on our tractor - glad all survived. Our cherry tree was loaded and just 'pinking' - two days later we thought we'd pick - all gone!! And the blackberries - a call 5am on morning - brother to warn me not to take an early walk or coffee on the porch as Mr Bear was gleening all the bushes around the property.

Dana Gaffney said...

Your disclaimer and you at the wheel had me a little concerned, would you take pictures while Mike fell? all very suspenseful. I'm glad all is well and even no cherries were harmed.

Diane Wild said...

At least there were two of you. One to pick and the other to call 911. I missed a step in the garden the other day and went down. All was okay but wondered how long it would be before the crows started pecking on me. I should have several of those warning signs posted all over the back yard. LOL. I made cherry pie from actual cherries and swore never to use canned cherry pie filling ever again. OMG. I want your cherry tree.

Dar said...

So glad you and Mike made it ok and no one was injured. Your cherries look beautiful. I'd leave the cherries for the birds and keep the raspberries. They are my favorites, especially golden ones. Used to grow them, but the birds were so greedy. Your post was entertaining but I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach as I was reading. Please be careful.

Michele said...

It is a good thing, the lack of all injuries and the sweet goodies. I planted 1 strawberry plant this year and the darn squirrels keep getting the few that have sprouted before I get to them. I need me a stealthy Smitty to scare the bejesus out of them squirrels. Does he do house calls or would he like a sleep over?

Denise :) said...

Oh, LOL!! I'm snorting, I'm laughing so hard! Yup -- great day when no one dies picking the cherries! (Or from marauding raccoons and squirrels!) :)