The Dude, Daniel, and I went on our first plum picking mission of the season today. Although I've scoped out the areas where we are planning to pick, I still wasn't too sure about what we would find. The heat has been brutal this summer, but we did have a fairly wet spring, so I was trying to be optimistic.
We did eventually find the pond. Or, we found what's left of the pond. Did I mention that this summer has been brutally hot?
We just explored that area for a while, then drove back out to the front part of the property where I had seen more ripe fruit the other day. We were not disappointed, and The Dude got his first real taste of sandplum picking! I had tried to warn him about it - in spite of the 102 degree heat, we were both wearing jeans and long sleeves, along with boots, in order to protect ourselves from the branches, but it was still difficult. The thickets have grown in considerably denser since last summer but we found so much fruit! There is still so much that is not ripe yet though - we spent about 2-3 hours out there and got one bucket full, which ended up being about 23 pounds!
For now, all of the fruit is in shallow pans on my kitchen table, where it will sit for a few days until it all ripens up just a bit more, and then I'll start the actual jelly-making process. If I remember to do it, I'll take pictures as I go, and actually post the directions as well just in case anyone who has access to sand plums wants to try to make some jelly!