Monday, September 22, 2014

Protecting the Pomegranates

by Terri


A long and sad tale . . . but with a happy ending. Sort of. For my husband’s birthday several years ago, he decided he wanted to plant a pomegranate tree. We picked it out at the nursery and had it delivered and planted. It was covered in beautiful red blossoms and I liked it right away. Soon the red flowers began to change into fruit.


And then the fruit began to ripen.


But just as we were anticipating having all this wonderful fruit right outside our door and the things we would make with it, this happened:


The birds discovered them and bored through the tough outer skin to the sweet insides, leaving us nothing but a shell.  All that watering and feeding and tending went for naught.

So the next year, my husband decided he would cover the tree with netting to keep the birds away. However, a quail got caught in the net and I spent a half hour cutting up the net in order to free him. It was traumatic so I told my husband, no more netting. And this again was the result:



The next spring, I went online to read about how to protect your pomegranates from birds and read about a method of stapling brown paper lunch bags over each piece of fruit. So we tried that with the 20 or so fruit that we had. We ended up with 2-3 pomegranates that survived to the time they were ripe enough to pick. We were beginning to think the birds were smarter than we were. Here’s a shot of one of the few we managed to harvest:

The tasty and beautiful jewel-like fruit inside made us want to try even harder to see if we could find a solution to the problem of the birds.


The next spring, I posted about my plight on Instagram and a friend suggested tying knee high pantyhose over each fruit. That sounded like a good plan, so I bought several packages of inexpensive knee highs and we tied them on.  It wasn’t too long before we found this:
 


The birds had torn open the knee highs and feasted on all the fruit. Those little buggers had untied the knots at the top of each knee high and helped themselves. The third time was NOT the charm.

So we have given up.  We now look on our pomegranate tree as a gift from us to the birds and we have resigned ourselves to buying our pomegranates at the store. I leave you with this fruit that we purchased from Trader Joe’s.  

 

A beauty, isn’t she? And so much easier than trying to outsmart the birds. We’ll keep our pomegranate tree and let the birds feast on it and from now on we’ll buy our pomegranates rather than trying to grow them. And because our theme this month is Word Art, I’ve even added a bit of Sue Cummings art to this image. 

Are you a gardener? Have you ever been outsmarted by Mother Nature and lost your harvest to some critter who got into your garden? Did you find a solution or did you have to finally give up like we did? I'd love to hear your stories and if you have a solution for keeping the birds from eating the fruit on your trees, I'd love to hear it. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm!








12 comments:

Peggy said...

Those birds are very persistent. And very thankful that you planted that tree. I think it was meant as a gift to the birds.

Dotti said...

Oh, my, Terri! You do have some smart birds in Arizona, I must say that. They do know what's beautiful and what's yummy and your photos beautifully document their cunning behaviour. You and your husband are very magnanimous to give over your beautiful pomegranate tree to the birds but it is a wise person who knows when she's outsmarted. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's! Our garden nemesis is rabbits. They like to feast on the leaves of our rose bushes. One year it was so bad, my husband set a trap and then took them out to the country to release them. Now that I'm home and not working, I keep my eyes open for them and go outside and clap loudly at them which sends them scampering. Remember that saying? 'It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!'

sherrygaley.com said...

Beautiful images Terri! Your post shows that so much in our lives is about perspective. I don't see it as you were outsmarted but that you became one with the ways of nature! A lovely metaphor for letting go and being generous...

Deanna said...

Ahh I know how frustrated you must have been trying to nuture the tree into giving you it's glorious fruit, but sometimes nature seems to overcome our own wants. And as I read your post I kept thinking that you should just go to Trader Joe's since they have pomegranate seeds in packages and give up the delicious red seeds to the birds that can't buy from Trader Joe's.....giggle!! Ever try sprinkling the seeds on top of your morning cereal....one of my favorite ways to eat them, except maybe just right out of the carton. Chipmunks do nasty things to my flower pots and help themselves to the bags of birdseed whenever they can.

CarolHart said...

I can't believe the birds untied the knot! You are wise I think to let the birds have them. I've come to the same conclusion with my strawberries and the neighborhood squirrels!

kelly said...

terri I TOTALLY get this! The squirrels in our yard ate every single one of my big tomatoes and some other critter ate all our peaches. so frustrating. but I like the conclusion you came to. about the only way to not go completely insane. :)

Cathy said...

Sometimes it is just best to let nature run her course! The birds think you rock! Great captures Terri!

Carol said...

Around here - its the deer. I had a huge geranium plant when I left for work one day, and nothing when I came home. Its happened other years - I just keep hoping it won't!

Kim Stevens said...

I can imagine how frustrating it would be...maybe you could have a smaller one in a pot just for you locked up like Fort Knox? haha I know when we finally get in a vegetable/herb garden that there will be many plants adored by caterpillars, and I will just have to buy extra for them. I keep checking my pentas hoping that they are being eaten - I am eagerly awaiting the tersa sphynx moth cat! :)

AFishGirl said...

You have happy and healthy birds, that's good. And they have high vitamin C and antioxidants in them. Fascinating to read of their persistence. I wish I had that persistence. I'd get a lot more done! Beautiful shots.

Cathy H. said...

I'm sure the birds love you!

Ida said...

Who knew the birds would enjoy those sees that much. The flowers are sure gorgeous.

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

 
© Focusing On Life