Wild apples mark the roadsides of New England. Planted by early colonists, they have become feral, and in good apple years like this one the trees are so covered it seems they bear more fruit than leaf. Those lining my roads are old, their cracked bark witness to many years.
The roads I ride on are often lined with these old trees, fallen fruit below them. This photo, of a laden tree on a local road, also marks how little importance cycling has in this culture. Not only is there no shoulder, but the edge of the newly paved road is a sharp drop of 4 or 5 inches. Definitely not bike friendly, though every cyclist who lives nearby needs to use it.
Some, smooth-skinned and shiny, are sweeter. Others, marked by leathery skin, are mouth-puckering with tannin. Almost all are gnarled, small and pocked, never as sweet as cultivated fruit. Yet mixed together they will make excellent apple butter and apple sauce, projects for some upcoming weekend.