This time of season the abundance of fresh fruit explodes forth like candy from a piñata.

It simply rains down luscious, thumb-sized raspberries, plump, dark cherries, peaches the size of soft balls, and cold, sweet melons,

We forget, except for the occasional put up jar of peaches or cherries, how truly amazing it is to be living here. It’s not like the valley, where every tree has fruit and lollipops get delivered to the door.

The Kimberly cherries should be here this week or so.

Lord how we loved spending the morning, gorging on cherries, climbing those great aluminum ladders with their wide base and tiny, tinny top.

Resting my cherry fattened belly over the top of the ladder, stretching out for that perfect bunch of Rainiers, Lamberts or Bings, always remaining just out of reach.

The old dogs would loll about in the shade, panting, intoxicated with the cocktail aroma of ripe fruit and the newness of place.

We’d wear funny hats and dump our buckets of just picked sweet ones into crates, then sit on the truck tailgate dangling our legs back and forth, laughing with the silliness of it all.


It was always just a few more, a few more until the weight of them risked the auto overheating as we drove up out of John Day canyon and away from the painted hills.

Just the four of us on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon, the two old dogs, Gina & Rosco, munching cherries from the open crates, the lush scent of ripe fruit wafting out the windows and trailing us down the road as we head home.

Painted Hills

John Day Fossil Fields & Painted Hills

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