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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grapevine Intrusion

Each year, our nonconformist grapevine manages to pull the sturdy cedar fence apart, as it works and twists and squeezes its way along the rails.

We fixed our cedar fence yesterday, nailed the fallen posts back into place, creating again the proper path for the ambitious grapevine to travel.

This presumptuous vine is enterprising and determined!

Our grapevine escapes riotously and regularly into the neighbour’s yard each summer, wrapping sly tendrils round the leaves and twigs of a nearby maple, exuberantly seizing the soft furry trunk of the sumac.

Even though we tie the grapevine to the fence rails to offer support, in some way it resents these restrictions, preferring to stagger and lurch into the openness of the neighbour’s yard in search of greater sunlight.  It is a challenge to keep the errant vine contained at the edge of our property.

We are still learning what the vine wants and needs, in hopes of harvesting delicious fruit at summer’s end.

Usually our grapevine produces only tiny green pellets of grapes.  Last summer, a magical combination of moisture and sun produced clusters of dusky purple grapes!

As we waited for the grapes to swell and ripen, one autumn day, a flock of finches feasted full.  We were too late!

Even though we didn’t get to taste the fruit ourselves, we learned much about nourishing grapevines in our micro-climate.

So, maybe this fall, we’ll be successful…unless the finches get there first!

Survival of the smartest?  Birds-one; us-zero.

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