Sunday, January 19, 2014

How a textile artist protects the fruit trees

We have lost a lot of apples and apricots to the wildlife recently - and to the heat. Possums and rats get some but the majority seems to go to the rainbow lorikeets.
What is left of some apples.
I decided that enough is enough and took some of my sheer fabrics out to cover them in the hopes that the creatures will not be able to access the fruit. I chose sheer fabrics so the sun can continue to shine through (it is much less intensely hot at the moment) and ripen the fruit.That probably says something about the efficacy of the parasols I have made but not attempted to use as these are fabrics I had for that project.

I suspect it is about time for them to be ripe, the lorikeets have started on the nectarines.
I also suspect that the rats may not be deterred by my efforts but they seem to eat less than the birds. And the garden is colourful, at least. I also had a limited amount of fabric and could not reach the high bits, so there is plenty for everyone. In fact, we were quite happy for the birds to be eating on those really hot days, we thought it might be providing some moisture for them - and food.
So there is food enough for all of us, we hope.

Every time I go out the back, the birds are in the trees. I can't really see them, and the fabric makes it even better camouflage, but they are a bit wary of us and fly away when we approach - as far as the tree that overhangs the apple and nectarine trees. 

If you'd like to see some more images, of the lorikeets caught red-beaked, you can see some pictures here.


Glennis said...

The trees look so pretty Mary, however lorikeets are hard to beat. Here in Kyneton, people use large nets. In Murrumbeena I used nets to some effect plus old CDs hanging in the trees.

Mary said...

Hi Glennis, we tried the CDs in the tree last year - to no apparent effect. And I read in the paper, in the last week or two, about a couple that had a fruit bat caught in their net and how they got bitten and scratched when they tried to free it - and THEN there was no rabies medication available in Australia at the time (not that it was definite that they needed it, but still). Then someone wrote a letter about how many creatures get caught in the nets, so we decided not to bother. Then I was falling over the bits of fabric (that I have yet to put away properly after the assignment) and decided to bother a little bit.