The Fruit Wars Episode Deux

It’s a war. Regular readers might remember the tale of the grape harvest last fall. Every year we face off the birds at the cherry harvest, too. Some years it goes one way, some years the other. Last year we wound up with no cherries. Not one. In about 2 hours while our backs were turned the birds had them all. We had thought the cherries weren’t quite ready yet. Apparently the birds thought they were.

This year… I happened to glance out the window just as the dinner biscuits were about to go in the oven, and I saw a flutter of wings in the branches of the cherry tree. “Oh,” said I, “there’s a bird in the cherry tree.”

We set aside the biscuit mix, took up a branch hook, and went a-cherry-ing, right then. Our competition was so intent on the opportunity we were swooped a couple of times by robins who, on their way to the party, neglected to notice two humans at work until they were so close they made emergency maneuvers to avoid us.

An hour later the biscuits were probably a bit worse for the time passed, but we had a good taking of fruits, more than it seemed we could make use of in the short term. And a short term it is, because fresh cherries do not keep for long on the kitchen table.

Out came one of our favorite tools, the old mechanical cherry pitter, a tool so simple and satisfying you just have to admire it.

Hand powered and efficient, the pitter takes care in minutes of a job that would take hours with a knife.

Go on, eat some while you’re working.

We had more or less enough cherries in our tummies by the time we finished pitting. Most of the haul went into freezer bags with a scoop of sugar and will be available for use later on.

Ha! We beat them this time! I looked out this morning and saw a cherry tree without a single fruit left. The birds had finished up what little we left behind on the upper branches.

History can be decided by a matter of moments.

Published in: on July 26, 2008 at 3:59 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It reminds me that it’s sweet corn time out here. Three weeks into the season and not a cob has passed my plate! But I’ll spend two good days in the kitchen freezing corn this week in order to have it at Thanksgiving, Christmas and the late winter, when summer seems so far away.

  2. Beautiful Cherries!

    We had an unexpected blueberry skirmish our first year in the country. Birds won. The second year, Dan got one of those bird-away net thingies and it worked great… except for the dead bird in the net. What a lousy feeling that was. This year, our sheep ate the leaves off the bushes before we could stop them. No berries at all. Sigh….

  3. …Reminds me of the time Richard’s Dad caught a deer in the bird netting. The deer survived to be released, but someone reported him for trapping! Unintended consequences all around.


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