North Central Washington. First day of Spring. 6:30 am, 23 degrees F.
“The early bird gets the worm”. In this case its the Robins who get the last of the crabapples. There is not a lot to eat this time of year. Difficult to pull worms out of a frozen ground.
But this crabapple tree is a life source. Just a few weeks ago it was loaded with thousands of tiny crabapples. Now just a few dozen remain. Mostly Robins, but a few Steller Jays and Nutcrackers have picked over the fruit on this tree. Smaller birds such as the Junkos and Sparrows are not attracted to this menu. They go for the birdseed thrown onto the ground.
I picked this one for a taste test.
In the fall these crabapples will pucker up your lips. Now, after a few cycles of freezing and thawing, they are firm and have a slightly sweet taste. Quite edible by my standards.
Even as the tree is plucked clean, you can see the new buds emerging. In just a few more weeks the cycle begins again. There will be thousands of beautiful blossoms. Each a future crabapple for next year’s Robin feast.