My apricot tree is loaded with fruit. They are just starting to ripen and we may, may, have some ripe for tomorrow, Christmas Day.
But I found the local birds were on the case as well and the wattlebirds were devaluing my crop; when it comes to ripe and wattlebirds, near enough is good enough apparently. I recruited my resident stepladder (aka Simon) and spread birdnetting over the tree.
While I was tying it down I made a discovery:
Insects had built a nest in the trunk of the tree. Rats!
And or, more accurately, wasps!
Or even more accurately, European wasps!
So, primed on how to deal with them, I stole some red cellophane off a present under the tree and taped it to my torch. Apparently wasps can't see red. Funny how English has the term 'seeing red' for when someone is angry. I was about to make them very angry but still hopeful that they would not see me in the red gloamin* of my torch. And from a safe distance and ready to run, I squirted the contents of a can of 'Wasp-rid R Us' at the entrance in the tree while trying to block a sudden but quite relevant question from my mind: Is there more than one entrance?
The entrance is now quiet.
I hope the nest does not mean that the tree is totally rotten inside now; its days may be numbered.
If the can of insecticide doesn't kill it in the meantime, of course.
*Gloamin is the tid o day whan it is nae fell daurk thareoot, but the sun is nae up.