Peaches or pretty

Which would you choose? The tulle seems to be very effective against the squirrels. It isn’t pretty but there have been no recent forays into either the peach or olive tree that I have seen. And for some reason that olive tree was a fun place for them to whizz up and down in their cute little whizzing way they do. They were constantly in it. I fucking hate them.

In the meantime it looks like a bridal party came whizzing through here and had a situation. I hope there’s cake.

The battle rages on

Probably a lot of history buffs are going to always remember the Great Squirrel Battle of 2021. And possibly the attendant Potato Bug skirmish.

The little nails I put on the top of the fence are def not working but I have been told that squirrels hate tulle (just watch my squirrels will looooove it). So I ordered a bolt. The squirrels have already begun denuding my peach tree. The peaches are not bigger than my little fingernail but the ground under the tree is littered with the ones that get knocked off while they’re frisking about noshing on the other baby peaches. So I’ve started with a base of wadded up tulle and one branch enrobed. I will see if this keeps them out. I can see that they would really not know how to deal with this but on the other hand squirrels aren’t as stupid as I wish they were.

And in my experience where there are potato plants, potato beetles are not far behind. You can put something called floating row covers on them, but I think tulle will do the trick and it’s a lot cheaper.

As an added plus I can wrap myself in oceans of it and dance around the house. Shades drawn of course.

The successful harvest

Something is not right when you live in the the northern midwest and your most successful harvest is limes. And you know what’s not right? Squirrels. Yes, Judy, squirrels.

They ate every single peach and olive but won’t eat the damn limes although from time to time they do dislodge them from the tree in an attempt, I am sure, to infuriate me. Of course, nearly anything can infuriate me these days so maybe that’s just me.

My lemon and lime trees took a quick frost and I had to move them into the green house before they dropped their leaves and fruit. I picked most of the limes but the lemons were not ripe. I’m hoping for lemonade at Christmas.

In the meantime, under the watchful eye of The Royal Indian Mounted Police, I made lime pickle with all of limes the squirrels could not be bothered to bat around. It was just in time too since I only recently ran out of the lime pickle I made 2 years ago. They need a few weeks to funkify. So time will tell, in more ways than one.

Outwitting the squirrels

Of course I didn’t.

I really don’t know why I put grapes in my garden in the first place. I never buy them or eat them. But there is something about the taste of a fresh-off-the-vine, fully ripe concord grape. There are few other tastes that can have that kind of impact in my mouth and mind. I imagine a lot of it has to do with childhood when I was a always starving to death and scrounging through neighbors’ yards eating things I knew were edible and possibly some things that weren’t. The concord grapes that grew on the fences that separated farm fields were an absolute taste sensation to me.

When I put the grapes in, not to mention peaches and apples I didn’t realize the extent to which squirrels would have the upper paw, so to speak. In the past few years I had not been able to have any grapes from these vines because, of course, squirrels.

I’m not sure how this particular bunch got left on the vine. The squirrels have eaten every single one of my peaches, apples and yesterday, olives. Raw olives taste like Satan. But they stripped every single one of the off my tree in one day. Like they just decided OK today’s the day. When I saw them leaping about in my little olive tree my first thought was that they were having their usual sexcapades but when I went out there because it was looking way too manic from my view on the couch I saw that in fact they were eating olives. And without a martini in sight.

But back to the grapes. I used the prickly raspberry cane trick that did not work on the peach tree or tomatoes. And I really had no reason to think it would here either but there it was in all its splendor, one single cluster of grapes, which makes it sound more fulsome than it was. A pathetic, partly ripe, meagre bunch of ratty grapes. Maybe the squirrels thought it wasn’t worth the effort. My first thought was to leave them to ripen a bit but I’be been fooled with this before. Raspberry canes in the peaches, apple (there was only one in the end) or tomatoes had not worked. I picked the grapes immediately.

I was not mistaken about the wallop of flavor. I’m trying to decide if all that work was work the 2,3 grapes I got.

Don’t think I’m not blaming you, Judy

Fun with squirrels

Maybe fun isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for.

They, the squirrels, seem to prefer the Indian tomatoes, the seeds for which the mother of the Royal Indian Mounted Police sent from India. I don’t exactly know why they prefer them and for what. They do not actually eat them. They pull them off and maybe take a bite and then discard them. Possibly they are playing a game with them.

I took out my raspberry bushes, too much work for so little benefit (not unlike many things in my garden but I’ll get too them sooner or later) and I put the canes around the base of the tomatoes like I did with the peach tree which, yes, did not stop them from eating every single one of the peaches but the squirrels could get to the peaches by many different means so I’m giving the raspberries another go. I’m hoping they’ll skip my yard because they’ll think uh oh, way too prickly. And there are the raspberry canes as well.

Raspberries in the peach tree

I took out a goji berry plant because it was getting too invasive, add to which I never got around to actually eating this “super fruit” and the birds didn’t eat them either but mostly I removed it because it was wicked thorny and somehow I was always getting stuck by the damn thing. I didn’t even like being near it. I had the idea though, to put the branches under my little bridge thinking the squirrels and rabbits might find it less commodious. As far as I could see both rabbits and squirrels used it as some sort of sex retreat.

At some point, when those adorable sex-addled bunnies ate my Mexican feather grass I put a couple three goji branches around the three clumps of grass. And guess what…no more eating the feather grass not to mention the sex romps under the bridge.

So today I cut back the spent canes of my soon-to-be-removed raspberries (also thorny but not quite as aggressively hurtful) and put a few nice big nests of them in the lower crotches of the peach tree as a special surprise for the squirrels. You cannot really tell the situation from these pictures but I just get such joy thinking about it. And it’s far more humane than the BB gun I was also thinking about. (For the record this would not kill them, just scare them). Last night two of them were trying to get to the last few peaches on the tree and when I walked out there they just stood there staring at me fiercely. I felt like the Scare Crow in the Wizard of Oz. Which is funny because I often feel like the Wicked Witch.

I’m hoping the squirrels come to think of the peach tree as an inhospitable place (I’d turn back if I were you) and that mind set gets genetically passed to their future generations. It could happen.

Next I’m getting flying monkeys.

You need coulis

Baby I’m not foulis. I suppose this hysterical reference to the Led Zeppelin will be lost on many people. Anyway you probably don’t need coulis. I know I don’t, even if I’ve just made it. I like raspberries but I hate the damn seeds which sort of precludes many of the eating options. So coulis it is.

I have 3 different kinds of raspberries which all taste different. Although if you were to eat any one of them you’d know instantly that it was a raspberry. You have to taste them one after another to see that there’s a distinct difference. But in the end when you’re just gonna boil ’em all down into mush it doesn’t really make any difference.

So I made the coulis. Now I have to decide what to do with it. I’d love to figure out what to do with the seeds. There certainly are a lot of them. I could leave them out for the squirrels. Over my fucking dead body.

The strawberry harvest is in!

So I tore out all my strawberries last year. But they are aggressive and a lone strawberry plant showed up on the ground next to the raised beds. I was not paying too much attention to it until I noticed 2 large berries on it. I thought the squirrels would get to it before me and didn’t think too much about it. Imagine my surprise when they turned red and nothing had eaten them. Then this morning I saw a bite out of one. I picked them immediately. One was eaten by slugs. I hate slugs. And I ate the other.

It was fine. I coulda let it ripen further but I wasn’t going to let something get to it before me. You see. I can outsmart the wildlife in my yard, well, the slugs anyway.

 

Broken promises

The. Worst. Pear. Of. My. Life. And it smelled so luscious. It felt perfect. What do you do after this? How can you trust anything or anyone? It’s like getting your heart broken. Now that I think about it, I’ve survived that and I got back on the horse. I suppose I’ll buy pears again. But I’m going to have to give it some time. I need to heal.

Or, I could plant a pear tree. Oh my god what am I thinking? I don’t need to battle the squirrels over one more goddam thing.

I’ll show them who’s boss

I have blueberries. This year I’m not letting the squirrels eat them. I bought rolls of hardware cloth and made an impregnable cage. Well, impregnable in the sense that I am unable to get into it. I’m sure the squirrels will find a way in. And even if I manage to keep the squirrels out until they turn blue, there is no way in hell I’ll be able to get into it to get them.

Plus these cages have the added advantage of giving the yard a kind of Beverly Hillbilly look.