Star Peaches

At the end of summer, the star peach trees lining the edge of the lake will all at once drop their fruit. When I say all at once, I mean all at once – the spectacle of several hundred trees shedding their fruit can last about an hour at most, and each tree can drop hundreds of fruit.

Thankfully, these fruit can be gathered and stored for some time. While they can be eaten immediately, they are often sharp and sour, and are best left to soften by leaving them in darkened rooms. When the room starts to get that distinctly peachy smell and sparkles like starlight can be seen in the darkness of the shelves, that is when the fruits are at their best. They make fine jams and chutneys, can be dried to fruit leathers, and the star-like stalks can be used for sleeping remedies and for treating nightmares. Cleansing in fruit-filled waters of the lake is said to bring luck and good health, though perhaps that is simply because it is such a joyous sight, the bather is left feeling renewed.

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