not a bird in sight

they are gone…just like that…not so in others’ orchards…friends have 400 plants and if they did not carefully net then their plants would be picked clean…not so with ours…not so…it seems that our friends believe that the waxwings nest in their spruce groves, which are extensive on their property…and may work to explain why our sparse spruce both stand out so much amongst our aspen as are a gift to us in that they both are visually stunning in our bush and don’t provide enough harbour for these birds to be any more than passing guests…and it seems to be a grace given to us and this place that even as the idyllic site of our orchard evolved in our consciousness as an ideal space for these plants over time so the threats to the orchard’s viability has turned out in the end to be minimal as well…

…it is always the greatest of ironies that even as we fought this week to attach and reattach the netting during four days of raging winds…so the birds had their way anyway…and are now gone…one of the gentle follies of our lives that really isn’t worth becoming upset over…

…next week i will start to tear out our electric fencing around the orchard…which was connived to keep out bears, but mostly my neighbour’s cattle which for 16 years regularly invade our property throughout grazing season…and whereas the cattle don’t steal much of our hay crop…i think we have better plans to keep them out…and the electricity doesn’t so anything to keep out wildlife, period…which wander through on a regular basis anyway and never cause any problems with the haskap…

spreading netting

waxwings arrived today in number…i bagan netting our haskap…netting is more of a deterrent than something that absolutely prohibits birds from eating berries…they are welcome to eat…they are migratory grazers…they leave our orchard in a week…with so many plants we leave some unnetted…that attracts them away from the netted plants…

…it’s cool out today…11C (46F)…but it is humid…any shirty or jacket is just too much for me…netting goes quickly…dragged out of their numbered storage bins that correspond with their row…opened as you go…laying them on the bushes…to be fastened down and together tomorrow…we will move on to the newer part of the orchard with less mature plants…

come-and-gone and still plenty

…at version there are phalanx of cedar waxwings that come to feed. But now they are fully vanished. And that they grazed so heavily for eight or nine days leaves us in awe that there are any berries at all. But the fruit hangs heavily. Even on the Aurora we planted a mere two years ago. These were fully un-netted. And to which some turned yesterday with delight at this selection’s abundance as humans themselves ate and gathered and ate and gathered.

Our original question years ago was how many plants might we have to plant to allow the birds to eat and still have enough for ourselves?  We aren’t sure when that tipping point came, but it looks like 3,000 definitely washes well-over the lip of that waterfall…