Look closely (or left click to enlarge) in the center of the photo; you will see a deliriously happy Robin holding a cherry in her (or his) beak. The Robins made good use of the cherries in this tree; when this photo was taken there were over a dozen birds in the tree. Curiously, the Jays, Woodpeckers, and other birds that eat at our feeders were not to be seen. Maybe all the Robins intimidated them. This photo was taken at the beginning of July and within a week the tree was bare.
The tree is a 'volunteer,' which is what I call a plant that decides to grow in my garden on its own. When I moved into this cottage well over thirty years ago, my neighbors, Fred and Beulah, had just planted a cherry tree. Within three years it was bearing fruit. A few years after it started bearing, cherry trees were springing up all over, probably 'planted' by the birds and the squirrels. Sadly, dear Fred and Beulah passed about two years after they planted their tree, within six months of each other. They were in their late eighties. They were two of the kindest people I have ever been fortunate enough to know.
Every time I look at this cherry tree, I bless Fred and Beulah for planting their tree. They never got to taste the delicious fruit from the tree they planted, but they were the kind of people who wouldn't have minded that. I know they're happy that the tree they planted has lived to bear fruit and make other cherry trees. I know they're happy that the trees are providing food for the birds, squirrels, skunks, and raccoons. I've even seen the little forest mice nibbling on the cherries that have fallen to the ground. Of course, I always pick a handful for myself and some to take to my sister.
And, who knows? Maybe Fred and Beulah have tasted the sweet fruit of the tree they planted.