Blackbird eating a crab apple in a garden in Wiltshire
© Nick Upton/Minden Picture
Bobbing for crab apples. Bobbing for crab apples
Autumn is apple season - the perfect time for apple pie, cider, crumble, toffee apples or just biting into a crisp one you picked yourself. There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples in the world, hundreds of which are grown in the UK, including Braeburn, Bramley, Cox and Royal Gala. This blackbird is enjoying a crab apple, which most people find a little sour to eat right off the tree. They do, however, work well in jelly, liqueur or even pie filling.
The term 'crab apple' doesn’t refer to a specific species but is used for several types of small apples. In Celtic culture, crab apples are associated with love and marriage. Supposedly, if you throw the seeds into a fire while saying the name of your love, the seeds explode if your love is true. We'd try it, but we're busy baking a pie.