Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Early Bird Gets the Berries

We feed the birds and wildlife on our small patch of earth all winter long. They stick around because there's plenty of fresh water year round from our ponds and flowing stream, plus they find shelter and natural food all over the garden.

We plant flowers that attract butterflies and birds all summer, then leave the seed pods for the birds, chipmunks and other critters to gather as forage during the cold weather months. We have a HUGE walnut tree in our yard that drops nuts that destroy our garden and lawn but it feeds the squirrels and makes really cool shade during our sweltering summer days ...

When Spring rolls around the bird treats aren't needed (except for the hummingbird feeder) and keeping the feeders full only attracts starlings, deer and (in some places) bears, so we stop filling and let the critters eat from the plants and shrubs in the gardens. That's when the challenge begins, because the birds and wild critters think we plant our vegetable garden just for them, too. We solved that battle by fencing in all the food except for the wild berries. Once the berries begin to ripen in June each morning becomes a race with the birds. I try to gather the fruit in the morning and late afternoon. They get to pick what's left during the middle of the day.



Today I won the berry picking race - or at least I think I so.  I gathered all these beautiful wild organic fruits - black raspberries and strawberries - on the second day I spotted ripe berries in the yard. But perhaps I just got the leftovers. The birds were up at dawn today so they probably left these few for me and chuckled at my frantic picking from high up in the trees. We'll see tomorrow ... hot sunny weather ripens the berries and our forecast for the next week is fair and dry with temperatures in the 80s.

No comments: