Look Up

From City Fruit’s Executive Director, Carrie Ferrence


A few years ago, I was explaining to a friend that one of the reasons I love living in the great PNW is because you get to see the Northern Lights, sometimes even in the city. They looked back at me in disbelief – they had never once seen the Northern Lights, despite the fact that they had lived here for more than a decade.

To which I responded: “Well, do you look up?”

Now that I work at City Fruit, I am often met with that same disbelief when I talk about our city’s urban fruit tree canopy. Many are surprised that we have such a large resource at our fingertips….because they haven’t seen it.

To which I respond: “Well, do you look up?”

Such a simple question –  and yet, your experience can shift dramatically when you simply shift the lens through which you’re looking. As a bike commuter, I do this frequently. On my rides, I key into the sound of birds, the activity of families coming home from work, the changes in flowers and gardens throughout the season. And, yes, I look up. I often am rewarded with glimpses of fruit growing in trees, eagles flying overhead, and the occasional rainbow.

This time of year, we are surrounded by colorful little reminders that there is fruit growing all around us – you just need to train your eye. Look up at the trees for the bright fruit; look to your side for the ripe berries; and look down for the fallen fruit. The picture here is from a walk I took last week, between my friend’s apartment and my parked car, a few blocks away. I was in Lower Queen Anne and there was barely a square foot not taken over by road, sidewalk, or building. However, as I slowly moved through the heat of the day, I glanced a bright green apple laying on the ground. I looked up and realized I was directly underneath a large and established transparent apple tree, growing strongly out of a stone wall. It was towering high above me, overflowing with fruit, and offering a beautiful reminder of the surprises Seattle still has to offer.

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