It’s a beautiful thing to be woken up to the sounds of a couple of crows singing out their joy as they find, and start to demolish, the not-yet-ripe fruit on my nectarine tree in the backyard.

There’s such a small window of opportunity whereby I can eat the fruit straight from the tree and it’s both crunchy and sweet (some would say not ripe, but that’s how I love it!), maybe a week, tops. And it’s not like I don’t mind sharing, I’m happy for them to have up to half the load on the tree, but they don’t seem content with that. Just a couple more days, that’s all I’m asking….is that unreasonable?

At least there are 3 nectarine trees so my chances are a bit better than with the cherry tree fruit. Not one cherry made it to my mouth this season….and in the 15 years the tree has been there only once have we ever had ANY cherries. Don’t get me wrong, the tree is laden, they start to colour – just a little red, maybe 2 weeks more and they’ll be ripe….and then in one day flocks of little birds descend and strip the tree of all fruit. The one exception was ten years ago when we sprayed the tree  with a product called Dter, supposedly safe and it did work (although timing is everything and if it rains in those two weeks prior it stops working). That year I bottled 16 large jars of cherries and ate about 2kg worth straight from the tree….sigh…not happy now about spraying anything on any food source or around my home or farm, so may have to think about netting the trees….but then I worry the little birds will get stuck in the tree, or won’t be able to eat the bugs for me….dilemma.

Oh well, for now I’ll just try and make the most of my short nectarine opportunity and hope they leave a few for me to enjoy. If there’s any left that actually get to ripen into soft fruit I’ll make some fruit leather…..but that’s only if I can convince the birds to share!

nectarine tree