Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Tale of Cherries, Cockatoo's and a Crazy Lady

About 15 years ago Mr. P staggered home from the local pub one night  and when he woke up the next morning there was a stick embedded in our front lawn. Nobody knows how it got there and it was simply assumed Mr. P had fallen into a tree during his walk home, (a regular occurrence or so I believe in those days )  broke the branch off, used it as a walking stick to make it home and decided to poke it into the earth on his way up the driveway in an effort to commune with the idea of gardening.

Before you get all up in my business because my husband was out destroying nature in a drunken stupor,  despite all the odds the stick took root and survived the next 5 years without being watered unless it rained. It grew taller and occasionally developed leaves. It looked weedy and struggled to survive and nobody loved it or paid any attention to it.

Then I moved in and informed Mr. P that we had pop up sprinklers (I kid you not despite having lived in this house for 7 years before my arrival he seriously had no idea we had an automatic watering system) and forthwith the lawn and trees would be watered when the government would permit us to use our own sprinkler system .  And despite the silver birch on our front lawn turning up it's toes and dying (which is very common with silver birch trees I understand so please don't call me a murderess ) the green tree survived and every year  after that grew taller, produced lovely green leaves and looked very pretty in summer.

Three years after my arrival I noticed red berries on the tree with the advent of summer.  Mr. P was righteously amazed when I excitedly  announced that they were cherries and that three years of tending to that tree in a proper fashion had rewarded us with the bright red plump berries. I made big plans to harvest the berries several days hence and started planning a cherry pie, and dreamed of the luscious cherry feast we could have because the harvest was small but looked oh so delicious.

Unfortunately we were not the only ones coveting the berries. A family of cockatoos had also spied them and were also waiting for them to ripen.  And ripen they did , in a two hour time frame one day when I was at work. And when I got home the tree was stripped because the cockatoos told all their friends and word spread like wildfire and every cockatoo in Australia had a feast from my meagre harvest of cherries that day.


I didn't get mad. I planned my revenge.

"Next year",  I ranted to Mr. P - "at the first sight of cherries I am going to throw a fruit net over the tree and guard those cherries most zealously until ripening time" A net was duly bought and I waited a whole year for the cherries to come. But they didn't appear the next year or the year after that or the year after that. I was crestfallen.

In the meantime I read up on cherries and realised by some fluke of nature our tree had been pollinated the year the cherries came to visit. I don't know how and I don't know why , and in the end I realised that this was one of those once in a lifetime dealios and that never again would we be graced by the red berries on our tree. So I gave the net away , and put my dreams of home made home grown  home made cherry pie out of my head.

 And this year my cherry tree turned on such a spring show - it was magical.


7 years have passed since the last cherry sighting at Maison Pyjamas. So you can imagine my excitement when this week these appeared on the tree...


There are hundreds of them...


And those bastard birds are back...and they're already stripping the tree.


So I've got me a swag


And a scare the birds away tool..



And this is where I'm staying until MY cherries are safely in a bowl in my kitchen.


Feel free to stop by for Cockatoo Cherry Pie on Sunday if you're in the vicinity. I promise I'll put the gun away.  


P.S. I guess I could race out and buy another net but that wouldn't be half as much fun and wouldn't make anywhere near as good a tale to tell would it?

24 comments:

quiltygal said...

LOL After you have harvested the Cherries can I borrow the gun please...got some ferral cats around here P&%p*&g in my garden !!!

Helen said...

........ and then I sent you one of our Possums!!!!!

Seams Inspired said...

Since Cockatoos are exotic in my area, I almost feel sorry for them Mrs. P! LOL

However, I think this fabulous story deserves a fairy-tale ending full of delcious Cherry Pie wafting its aroma through your home. I'm purchasing my plane ticket right now so I'll be there in time to dine. ;o)

Thanks for the best morning giggle! Happy Wednesday/Thursday!

Leanne said...

I am ringing the RSPCA as I type. It's amazing how they know when they are ripe they use to strip the almond tree at work the very morning I would arrange to pick the nuts LOL.

Kate said...

Too bad you can't post the smell of a cherry pie. Thanks for the laugh this morning. I hope you get your cherries.

Sara said...

I'm not a huge cherry fan but I know the feeling - there are a couple of plum trees out the front of our block but we live on the highway and people pull up in our driveway and pick them. Instead of the somewhat dangerous looking shotgun you're planning on using, I'm thinking a spud gun might be my weapon of choice.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

While I don't care for cherry pie, I completely appreciate the work involved in keeping those damn cockatoos away so you go on with your bad self! I'm so proud.

lol - hope the pie is yummy.

Marie said...

Please prepare (forewarn) your neighbors for the sound of the cannon going off ... hate to have them turn you in ....

I fully understand after battling the wildlife for the last 10 years -- you will WIN this battle!

now don't burn the pie!

Char said...

I love it! Sounds similar to the problem we had with our blueberries.

Duff said...

thanks for starting my day with a hearty laugh!! You are a great storyteller!

Isn't there a saying...hmmm..something like...

A cockatoo in the tree is worth two dead on the ground.

yeah... something like that...

Michelle said...

My mom and I are laughing hysterically. :-) I so hope you get a cherry harvest THIS year Mrs. P. and don't have to make too many cockatoo pies along with the cherry pies.

My mom suggested that you buy another cherry tree for your yard, and then you'd have cherries every year. We know Mr. P. knows how to plant them. ;-)

Barb H said...

Too funny! I, too, turned my back on my old cherry tree for a couple of hours to go to a festival and when I returned home, the cherries were gone. Not cockatoos but some other kind of birds. Enjoy the fruit if you get any. :)

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

Hey..don't hurt those poor animals...they are just trying to live...tztztz..be happy you can even see them in real life..the only time I've seen them was in a zoo.
On the other hand...you could just scare them away...o.k..I can see that...good luck on your cherry pie..hope your a better baker than I am...otherwise you'll burn the pie :-))

Amanda said...

Cheap as Chips has those nets for $5 we bought a couple to go over the pool to keep the ducks off it took a lot of ingenuity by hubby to get it over and to stay open but it seemed to work even when a bit of the pool was covered.

AnnieO said...

That is a tale! Thanks for the lots of laugh out loud parts. Hope you blast those unsuspecting birds a la Sarah Palin.

Lisa said...

Cherry pie sounds delicious, maybe if you offer to share some with the birdies they'll leave them alone!? Probably not, but it's worth a try? =P

melissa said...

Hee hee, hope you get your cherries!

Elizabeth said...

Wow! The blossoms on your cherry tree are gorgeous! That is so awesome that you're going to have fresh home-made cherry pie (and it is totally OK to buy the pastry -- it still counts if you bake it in your oven!) I'll be over Sunday evening round tea time.

I'm a little fuzzy on the details of how this tree came to be. It must be the alcohol induced haze from hanging out in the pub, because I really felt like I was there while you told your tale.

Also, it is so foreign to me that cockatoos run around wild there and eat all the cherries of your tree. I'm wondering how they got out, because here, you'd only see one in a cage as a pet.

xo -El

JKP said...

Cockatoos are supposed to be intelligent, and they have been known to talk. Can't you just explain to them it's your tree? Invite them in for tea and cake and come to some sort of agreement that they can half of the tree if they promise to leave the other half for you? If not,you can always threaten to cook them in a pie.

Deb said...

The Cockatoos are beautiful, however I totally understand how upsetting it would be for them to eat your cherries

Brenda said...

Wow, I'd heard Cockatoos are wild and free in Australia - I never thought about them being a nuisance! We have cherry trees, but if we don't spray them all season they get worms - bleck!

lw said...

I have a plum tree in my back yard. The bird net didn't work, but hanging several CDs on strings in the tree did. The birds see the motion from the sun reflecting off the CDs and think it's a hawk. The only days I lost fruit were when there was no wind at all to gently move the CDs.

Those cherries look so good! But they don't grow here.

P. said...

That is a great story, and I hope you get your cherry pie out of your heroic efforts! Here the birds that eat cherries are the less exotic but similarly aggravating robins. Sometimes you can hang shiny things in the tree to deter them (...it used to be aluminum foil pie plates when I was a kid), but that doesn't always work.

Janean said...

hopefully you're wearing camouflage too! yay for cherries...hope you get TONS!!!