A mango tree in full bloom had me quite excited a couple of months back. There are few pleasures like fresh mango on a summer day.
Then tragedy struck.
Okay, I admit, I sound like “a bit of a git”, being able to enjoy Australian winters that are warmer than most European summers, yet the prospect of an Aussie summer bereft of mangoes is like pizza without melted cheese. It’s just not right.
Thus, something – a rat, a possum or a flying fox – devouring the flowers before the fruit has developed, is a bit of a downer. Sure, it's not as bad as a tree full of immature fruit losing the lot in a hail storm, but it is sad.
And yet, it looks as though this might be another good summer for mangoes after all, for, over the last month or so, the tree went into bloom again.
And it gets better: in addition to extensive blooms, the tree is beginning to fruit.
If this all sounds frivolous – which it is, particularly if you got here by seeing the title of the post and expected something a little more high-falutin’, ecologically motivated or politically based – rest assured that I don’t take it lightly: I know I have to enjoy all of this while I can. Australia is still in the throes of an intense drought, its rivers are suffering severe salination. It is, apparently, the ‘world’s driest continent’. The next world war will probably be fought over fresh water and not fresh food – because even though world supplies of food should run out by mid-century, apparently, we at least can start eating each other. But none of this is going to matter in the short term. Not to me, anyway, when my beard is matted and funky with the golden nectar of fresh, homegrown mango!