When we moved here in mid-November, there was very little growing here in terms of fruit trees but there were 4 peach trees and 3 crab apples. While the Wallaby seems to enjoy pruning the leaves from the crab apples leaving the fruit behind, the Wallaby loves peaches.
|A small sample of the peach stones left behind by the Swamp Wallaby.|
To date the Wallaby has eaten about 50 peaches.
I had netted the peaches soon after moving in, but I had imagined my main competitor for the fruit would come from above from Sulphur-crested cockatoos, King parrots and such. Instead I have found that the fruit raiding comes from below. I have also discovered that Wallabies have very dexterous front paws. Even when the netting had been secured under fruit branches, the Wallaby had found the gaps and pushed its little muzzle thru to reach the fruit.
Yesterday I went on a mission, to exclude the Swampy from the best of the fruit.
I started by closing these gaps in the netting, and then on the trees that had insufficient netting to tie up under the tree, I went about re-using the netting that I keep that comes around oranges and onions when you buy them from supermarkets (I knew there was a reason to justify visiting the bug two supermarkets occasionally!).
And when I had run out of these net bags, I deployed some wire to make a cage around some particularly delicious looking peaches. (Look thru the bird netting to see the wire cage).
Last night the Wallaby did visit - it comes every night - but this morning I couldn't find any new peach stones. (Just quietly, I think I might have won!)
So given that I think I will have some peaches to myself, perhaps you know... at what point should I pick the peaches? When they have ripened on the tree and are ready to eat or use? Or should I pick some and ripen inside?