Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

I've noticed this year how things are connected. In March we had some very warm weather that caused the fruit trees to bloom early. Then in April there were a couple of heavy frost days. One result is that there will be a much smaller crop of apples and some other fruits. That, in a chain of events in our yard, led to the partially eaten tomato in the photo.

What's the connection? The damage to the tomato came from a squirrel. I have even seen one trying to carry one of these nearly one pound Hungarian Heart tomato up our wooden fence. It was too much weight.

In the past squirrels have not bothered our tomatoes although I know that other people have had squirrel gnawed tomatoes. The reason we escaped was that we have a pear tree and an apple tree in our garden area. The squirrels strip both trees of their fruit during the season and apparently have had enough to satisfy their needs. We would often see them scampering along the fence or across the roof of the house with an apple or pear held securely in their teeth.

But this year we had no pears and no apples. We still had squirrels and they needed food. They ate the green berries on the pagoda dogwood trees, which meant that the birds who usually eat the dogwood berries when they are a little riper had to find something else. One of those something elses was our blueberries. But the pagoda dogwood berries were not enough for the squirrels. They were also into the raspberries. And, recently, the tomatoes. So that warm weather in March resulted in far fewer blueberries and early raspberries for us and fewer tomatoes. And I think they have their eye on the grapes.

I don't find squirrels quite as cute as I used to. But perhaps that is because they look a little gaunt this year.