More pickling tonight, this time with more garlic and dill and a cautious bit of sugar. Afterwards, I urged Eric to go out and see the peaches on the peach tree, since he claimed not to have noticed them while mowing. He stared at it. “There are peaches?” he said blankly.

“There,” I said, pointing. “And there. And there. And there. And there. And–” By then he’d gotten it and was busy being amazed by their velvety glowing beauty, so I looked at the pear tree, which is much older, well-established, graceful in a way our gangly peach tree isn’t, and laden with tiny pears.

Also with black-spotted leaves. I called Eric away from his peach-worship to look, and then we consulted the Internet, and we seem to have Fabraea leaf spot. It’s a fungus that grows explosively in midsummer and looks almost like scale, up until the spots have spread so far that the leaves don’t have spots, the spots have bits of leaf. It causes leaf drop and disfigurement of fruit. Fabraea is not our friend, even if it’s got a pretty name.

“Do you think we can save the pears?” Eric said sadly as we further consulted the Internet on fixes. There are two: cut away all affected branches–which is all of them–or spray with fungicide. We’re going to look into fungicide. I hate to do it–not to mention the expense of buying it, plus the sprayer we undoubtedly need to administer it–but I really love that tree, whether we save the pears or no.