Did the birds think my step-ladder was a person?
We have just harvested and pitted some 20 quarts of cherries from our Balaton cherry. All without using netting! In 2011 we had a bumper crop, netted the tree, went away on vacation for a few days only to find that birds had found a way into the netting. This year, we picked some before we left for vacation and left the step-ladder in place. We were able to pick another 4 quarts when we got back. There was, however, a poor quality North Star cherry nearby that the birds could easily access. The Balaton is quite leafy beyond the ripe cherries, so perhaps that kept the birds somewhat away.