By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer’s father.
My father planted fruit trees and while waiting for them to mature, he planted strawberries in rows between the trees. We would plant the berries one spring, and then they bore fruit the next spring and several springs to follow. We used a horse-drawn cultivator to stir up the ground between the rows of plants to remove weeds and to make the ground more water absorbing. I took my turn holding the cultivator and guiding the horse. This old horse had done this many times and knew the routine very well.
When the berries began to ripen, seagulls from the nearby lake would come in large flocks and devour the berries. My brother and I would stay in the field of berries and try to scare the birds away. It seemed to be an impossible task. One day we decided to try a new approach. We found a roll of fishing line, about 100 feet long, and tied one end of it to a tree and the other end, with no hook, to a piece of bread. This we hung from a tree in plain sight and then we moved back. One of the seagulls would see it and come and grab the bread and the line and fly away. The bird soon came to the end of the line and fell to the ground squawking, screaming, and flapping its wings. This created chaos and fear among the birds, and they all flew away. The bird would soon chew through the line, and he would also fly away. They all returned in a short time and again started eating the fruit. We repeated the procedure with the same result several times. After about four times, the birds would stay away permanently. The berry crop was saved. No birds were injured in this action.