First Pears from the Plot

Pears are a tricky lot.  Unlike apples, they don't let you know when they are ready to be picked.

Gently cup an apple ripened on the tree and it will settle into the palm of your hand, release its hold on the branch, and allow you to take it away willingly.

Pears will stubbornly cling on until the bitter end, or so it seems.  I really am no authority.  This is first year I've ever had home grown pears to pick and I haven't the foggiest idea how or when to harvest them.  I've been told there is a 'horizontal test' for ripeness.  If a pear releases itself from the tree when held in a horizontal position it is ready to be picked.  These four pears passed the test.  

Just because they came off the tree it doesn't mean they are ripe.  Oh no, they are still hard as bullets.  Now comes the really tricky part...knowing when to eat them!