NATURE GETS HER SHARE

Backyard figs, protected from the birds.

Fruit grows well here.  Vegetables are more of a challenge.  As a longtime organic gardener, I’ve mostly given up on veggies, buying them at the Slow Food Market, or the supermarket.  

Above we have a picture that saves some delicious fruit for the table : figs.  Until now, it has been rare that a whole fig makes it to the table.  But the birds are leery of these shinny boxes – blueberry “clam shells”– so I don’t even need to close them (although they are well-ventilated even if closed). The shallow ones, depicted, don’t easily enclose a large fig, so I simply leave them open. The deeper ones close nicely after I cut a ½” square out of the lower portion of the wall, not out of the lid, to allow for the stem to pass.   The birds prefer to dine perched on a branch, and the boxes cramp their style. Or perhaps they sense a trap.

Other fruits have been more difficult to protect.  Papayas are enjoyed by parrots and iguanas.

papaya

papaya

The leaves of passion fruit (maracuya) are devoured by iguanas.

 

Carpinteros (wood peckers) hollow out pitayas (dragon fruit).

Dragon fruit blossom and fruit, Pitaya

Doves, jays, and other birds peck holes in our annonas

Annonas, with bird

annona

My all-time favorite, the banana, is mostly safe.

banana bloom

bananas

Photo by Liz O’Neil

Citrus is mostly safe from predators, except from swimmers in the pool.

Mandarin self-portrait : fruit face with leaf lips

Note:  with the exception of the pineapple and the mobile banana, all the fruits were grown in our backyard.

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