Grapevines really talk! And I do mean the plant kind, not just the people kind.
I suspect most of us think the office grapevine got called that because grapevines spread rapidly, from a very small root to where they cover yards of concrete or brick wall, especially here in Southern California. If it’s true for an area that once was desert, prior to the massive aqueduct system, I’m sure it’s the same in other temperate or sub-tropical climates. Rumor does travel as rapidly as the leafy, and sometimes very aggressive, grapevine itself grows.
Every Fall this particular grapevine turns a riotous shade of yellow, orange and red leaves before dropping them all for the winter. In early Spring, the tender green shoots begin the process all over again. By late June, those leaves are a deep and shiny green, almost completely covering and decorating the cinder block walls around the backyard. Tiny purple-black fruit appears, but not before the even tinier, creamy yellow blossoms pop open.
I don’t know what’s going on, but there is a sound that is like the pattering of fairy raindrops throughout the grapevine. You can stand next to the grapevine and hear it! You can move further down the wall and still hear it! It’s not the buzz of honeybees. There were none in the vicinity, and with the terrible fungus that has already wiped out millions of commercial hives, let alone the wild colonies, there may not be many bees to be seen this year. (Please note that’s millions of HIVES lost, meaning billions of bees. This is a heartbreaker in the making. With worker bees leaving the colonies, we have very serious agricultural problems on the horizon because of this disaster. The queens, drones, and other remaining bees cannot survive alone. And all are desperately needed to pollinate our food crops.)</>
But whatever is producing the sound in the grapevine, I can assure you that the grapevine talks! I have heard it with my own ears.