Friday, August 2, 2013

New squirrel in town

There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that grey squirrels have discovered my orchard. This was the first sign—an asian pear stripped of its footie and carried a hundred feet away and dropped on the other side of the barn. It wasn't ripe yet and won't be ripe for at least another couple months. I found the footie under the tree—it was from my Shinseiki.

Two days later I found two apples knocked down from the Liberty, and one damaged but still on the tree. Happily, this time the footies didn't come off, and the squirrel didn't chew through the footies and didn't actually get any of the apples, just left bites in them. They also won't be ripe till at least mid-October.

I've been trying to make sure I spend some time every mid-day out in that area of the garden, just to make sure the squirrels see me there. They haven't come back. My neighbor said one of them got run over in the road, and they've set traps at their place. But if they really get determined, I do have a trap that I can set up.

The good news is that the strawberries are bearing again! I had to rebuild my cage to keep the birds (and squirrels) out today, because they grew so big the strawberries were starting to ripen outside the cage! I ate half a dozen delicious big ripe ones, and had to throw away as many big green ones because I couldn't fit them back through the mesh. I raised the level of the top another 8" or so and redesigned it so it was the same height everywhere, instead of arched. I had one other idea that seemed like a good one, so I'm trying it, although I'm not sure it'll work—I staked up the fruiting stems with short lengths of bamboo poles, so the fruits will be off the ground. I have a couple other ideas if that doesn't quite work.