Friday, September 25, 2015

The cost of wine.

When the bird netting goes up on the grapevines I do my very, very best to make sure that none of my feathered friends can sneak in through a gap, that I may have inadvertently left, and become trapped.  I walk through the rows often to make sure that not one single bird is caught in the canopy. But it's not a perfect system.  Just last weekend, I had to free a rather annoyed female Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) from one of the Pinot grigio (PG) rows.  Not a particularly easy task with V2 on the other side of the vine snapping away, (she takes her partial terrier-heritage very seriously).  The PG vines having been harvested already are now sans nets, so the birds are at liberty to go about their business as usual.
Today, on the way out for our morning walk, V2 drew my attention to a house finch that was trapped in the Orange Muscat (OM) vines.  I pulled open the netting quickly and the finch flew away, seemingly unscathed, into a nearby tree.  A little later in the morning, when Vinomaker and I were finally organised enough to get around to removing the netting on the OM prior to picking, I found the remains of a little house finch (hanging in the netting by its spine and the teeniest little ribs).  I am so sad to have one less house finch in Vinoland: I hate to be the cause of the demise of even one precious bird. 2015 may prove, in a way, to be an expensive vintage.  Sigh.

3 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: I have a sense of how you feel; last week my employer, who feeds many birds, and has big windows, had a downy woodpecker slam into one of those windows. As is my want, I ran out to rescue Mr. Downy. I knew it wasn't good. I held the struggling fellow for fifteen minutes hoping he'd get over the trauma. Sadly he didn't.
I have to think it's important on a number of levels that we care for our little friends.

Thomas said...

I've been known to swerve into ditches trying to avoid running over a chipmunk on the road. I even have trouble squashing a slug, but only briefly ...

Vinogirl said...

NHW: We have a lot of windows here in Vinoland and birds fly into them quite often. Most survive, but for many it is a fatal flight. Always very sad.

Tomasso: A quick dash of salt, but the guilt that follows is not so quick.