Have you heard the story — not a myth, I believe — about birds nibbling on overripe pyracantha berries, and getting drunk on the fermentedness? Flying around kinda kookoo, sometimes crashing into walls? Probably having unprotected sex, too. Dumb birds.
Well, we have a couple of pyracanthas to look at — one in front of the bedroom window, and the other across the fence in the yard next door. The owner of the next-door pyracantha was a little twitchy earlier this summer when we trimmed the branches that hung over our side.
"The orioles like to eat the berries," she warbled.
She needn't have worried. There are plenty of berries.
But I can guarantee you I haven't seen any orioles. (Northern California is visited by Bullock's Oriole in spring and summer; the pyracantha berries don't turn red until October or thereabouts...)
Even so, we've seen robins and scrub jays munching on the berries. They aren't getting drunk. (Yet?) The berries are ripe, but not fermented.
Fall is pretty.