holding it all together

…while our bale netting is in tatters..and even when intact has holes too big to be an absolute preventative…we’ve discovered that by leaving it on even when the pressure from the birds let up it greatly stabilizes the bushes in wind…you can see a whole community of plants pulling together as one!

 

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…

cleaning

it’s unprecedented this late that I would be tidying up and mowing on November 19 of any year…but it was and I did and enough mice moved out from in front of me to justify having done so…giving better access to cats and coyotes to keep the place clean and rodent free…

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…and there were still a few strings of netting to be gathered…amidst large clumps of ice…that will melt indoors…and then the netting dried in our shop…

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…although I am not thoroughly convinced that winter is fully here…yet…which is quite unusual this late, even as the arrival of spring was equally as unexpected.