I finally figured it out. It has been driving me crazy for weeks.
I was so proud of myself earlier this month when I found myself ahead of the game and booking an apple picking day with my family at the peak of the season. I was then equally flummoxed to learn that the season was actually over, with only one orchard within an hour drive that still had any apples to speak of.
October 2nd. That's apple picking season, no? As it happens, the answer depends - quite logically, when you think about it - on your specific coordinates in this vast country of ours. Back in London, Ontario, October 2nd was most definitely apple picking season. Up here in Ottawa, you've missed the boat. Such a simple concept, but I've literally been scratching my head for the last week and a half, and it dawned on me yesterday. She's another year older folks, but we're still waiting on the wiser.
Anyhoo, fun was had at any rate as we found precisely 3 apples clinging desperately to their respective trees to satisfy the 3 children clinging desperately to the notion that we were there to pick apples, rather than simply purchase them by the basket. And they bore up well as we forced a few autumnal poses out of them before scurrying back to the warmth of our vehicles. All in all more time was spent in the car than on the farm, but we got the apples and we got the pictures...what more do you want?