Things in the Lalor almond department were looking pretty promising back in early August, as the almond trees came into flower.
The humans were cracking open their first bottle of feijoa wine and for mysterious reasons quaffing it beneath the petal confetti of the great god Prunus.
The chooks were pooing their darnedest.
The cats held off using the almond trunks as scratching posts.
All was well in the almondy world as hundreds and hundreds of tiny green almonds began growing from the spurs of the almond trees.
Things were still looking pretty good in early January:
Some of the fruit had fallen by the wayside, but that's entirely necessary when the bees have gone into pollination overkill and the tree risks dying trying to provide for all its potential offspring. The fruit that were left, though, were ripening beautifully. An almond harvest was thrillingly imminent.
And then a herd of two-footed berserkers with yellow caps and white capes flew into town. "Scrawp!" they said, "Scrawp! Scrawp!", which was the signal to start ripping open almonds and eating the kernels.
Leading to (a) no almonds for us, (b) very happy fat cockies, and (c) a deluxe mulch of almond shells.
It turns out that there is a reason why T and V two houses down have veiled their almond like a 1940s bride. Look at her go, almond-a-rama.
So, lesson learned. Next year, there will be nets, disappointed cockatoos, and almonds for me. Insha'Allah.