It is Santa Rosa plum season in the Tattered backyard. We look forward to these few weeks. There is little better than tree-ripened Santa Rosa plums.
But the dear birds have decided they aren’t going to share this year. As soon a a plum to starts to ripen, they dig in. And they don’t eat the whole thing. They take a few nibbles and move on to the next one. The little stinkers.
This is a common sight. Some don’t even have this much eaten off. In years past, we’ve attempted to net the tree, but we’re getting a little old for that.
When Mr. Tattered noticed the bite marks, he decided he’d just pick them sooner and let them ripen inside. And it worked . The ones he’s picked ARE ripening. But they just aren’t as sweet.
What to do, what to do?
Well, he called in the cavalry in the form of a solar-powered owl that moves its head.
This thing is seriously scary-looking!
Now the funny thing is, we have a resident mockingbird who has decided the backyard is his kingdom. He lets the little birds come around, as long as they stay out of his pyracantha bush, but he does NOT like this owl.
He has been cracking us up! The owl is set up on top of a high ladder, placed near the tree. The mockingbird has been sitting on top of the fence screaming at him, making a noise I’ve never heard before. When that didn’t send the “owl” on its way, the mockingbird flew at the owl’s face and flapped his wings at him screaming the whole time. He couldn’t believe the owl wasn’t terrified, and did it over and over, until he finally decided the owl wasn’t going to budge.
He moved back over to “his” bush, and seems to be leaving the owl alone now. However, none of the small birds that had been feasting on the plums have been in the yard AT ALL. It appears to be working.
I feel bad chasing them off, but they just weren’t going to share.
SO, for a few weeks we’re going to have the owl and the mocking bird. In a few weeks when the plums are all ripe and picked, we’ll put Mr. Scary Owl away until next year, and hopefully the little birds will return.
Life gets pretty interesting around here!