protection for pears
Repurposed plastic cups provide predator protection for pears.
Thanks to Viva for the idea and Pour Girls for the cups. They can be re-used as many years as the plastic lasts — we’ll see. I just covered the pears I could reach without a ladder, leaving the treetop fruit for the neighborhood rowdies — who came by last night for the first party of the season. Raccoons by the look of it — small branches snapped, two dozen pears on the ground, some whole and others partly eaten — “Eeww that’s not sweet yet, try another.” No damage to the fruit in pear protectors. The raccoons went after the Red Bartlett first of course — not only is the fruit red from the start, attracting attention, but it’s also the earliest to ripen (maybe three weeks off).
I was thinking more of thwarting the ravens, who last year pecked into almost every pear before I thought to harvest. Our orchard, gardens, and chicken yard comprise an adolescent day-care facility for raven fledglings. The parents show their youngsters how to watch for interesting chicken treats, how to steal eggs and irritate the dog, and then leave them, knowing the noisy teenagers will be safe and well fed. The pear protectors are for them as much as for the partying raccoons.
Will they work? I’m thinking of the study (can anyone cite it correctly? not me) in spatial problem-solving that showed ravens to be smarter than college students. We’ll see.