Blackbird eating a crab apple in a garden in Wiltshire, United Kingdom
© Nick Upton/Minden Picture
Bobbing for crab apples. Bobbing for crab apples
If it's autumn, it's apple season—the time for apple pie, apple cider (and, of course, apple cider doughnuts), apple cake, caramel apples, or just biting into a fresh, crisp apple, especially one you picked yourself. There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples grown in the world—about 2,500 in the US. 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 for jelly, apple butter, 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.