Waxwings

These branches are now empty.  For the past two weeks flocks of waxwings filled the trees and our orchard.  We did not net our plants this year.  Too busy to check mush on the orchard at such an early date we at least knew that they were feeding on green ones.  But last weekend all the birds simply disappeared.  Checking today the plants are still loaded…some ridiculously so.

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come-and-gone and still plenty

…at verison 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…