三賢社

— 連載ブログ —

Buatsui Soup | コリン・ジョイスのブログ

Of Birds and Berries

2017.07.04

In June and July, my blackcurrant bush bears fruit.

So rapidly do the berries ripen that I go out into the garden three times a day to pick them. In previous years, I have looked at the birds who come to eat the berries as rivals. I tried various methods to stop the birds from getting the berries... with limited success.

But this year I realised I still had some of last year’s crop in my freezer and decided that since I cannot consume the whole lot I should just let the birds have a share. After all, bushes produce fruit for the purpose of attracting birds.

Not competing with the birds gave me more than peace of mind. I actually think it might have increased the crop. In retrospect, I was picking a lot of the fruit when it was only 80 percent ripe in previous years in an effort to get it before the birds. This year, I notice I picked a lot of really fat, juicy berries. Possibly, the cause is the weather. But just maybe the extra few days on the branch means they ripen more and grow bigger, so in a sense I am getting back in better fruit the portion I lost to the birds.

But more than that, I have come to love my visitors. I even put out water for them so they can get a better dining experience. I particularly love blackbirds and am delighted that several of them come regularly. One young male all but lives in my garden. Young birds look chubby and a bit “stupid” for want of a better word. I am posting a picture so you can see what I mean. How can you not love such a fellow?

A young female blackbird also comes but only sits on the fence and eats berries, without landing in the garden (females are not jet black). An adult male pops by, expertly plucks a berry and flies off (adults are slimmer with “sleek” feathers).

Today something happened that made my day: there was not one but two daft-looking baby blackbirds sitting under my bush. Eat away!

連載
コリン・ジョイス Colin Joyce
コリン・ジョイス
Colin Joyce

1970年、ロンドン東部のロムフォード生まれ。オックスフォード大学で古代史と近代史を専攻。92年来日し、高校の英語教師、『ニューズウィーク日本版』記者、英紙『デイリーテレグラフ』東京特派員を経て、フリージャーナリストに。07年に渡米し、10年帰国。著書に『「ニッポン社会」入門』、『「アメリカ社会」入門』、『「イギリス社会」入門』、『驚きの英国史』など。最新刊は、『新「ニッポン社会」入門〜英国人、日本で再び発見する』(小社刊)。