We have a beautiful, robust highbush blueberry plant growing right next to the garage, in plain sight. It’s hard to fathom that we went an entire season – last season – without realizing it.
You’d think we would have noticed. I mean, it’s not like we don’t pay attention to food. Besides, the thing is ten feet tall.
I did look for blueberries last year, but I’m used to the lowbush variety, and so I was looking down. In order to see the berries on a highbush, you have to look up. Not only that, last year was a bad year for blueberries, so there may have been so few that it was easy to miss. Whatever the lame excuse, it wasn’t until our friend Linda noticed it this spring and said, “That’s a nice highbush blueberry,” did we cotton on to its existence.
This year is a good year for blueberries, and we were determined to make up for last year’s lapse by protecting our crop from the birds, which have an annoying habit of waiting until the day before you’re planning to pick your berries, and then swooping down to wipe you out.
The way to protect berries from birds is with netting, and several weeks ago, we covered the blueberry bush with a big sheet of it. I certainly wasn’t going to go two years without a blueberry from our very own bush. I sat back complacently and waited for my harvest.
Fat chance. When you throw a net over a highbush blueberry, the birds simply fly under it. They have trouble figuring out that they can get out the way they came in, so they just stay there, trapped in the net, with nothing to eat but blueberries.