No-spray fruit trees
Friday November 03rd 2023, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Garden,Wildlife

Tuesday night I heard… I stopped a moment. Something out there. There it was again. And again. I finally stood up and stared blindly out the window into the dark and the noise stopped.

Heard something rattling around Wednesday night, ten-ish again, and walked a few steps outside this time. It stopped.

Thursday night I said to Richard, You know, if that was a skunk, that was really stupid of me. He allowed as how yes, we would have a problem if it were in that case. I said *I* would have a problem and that it would have been acceptable for him to tell me I was sleeping in the tub that night–vinegar, right?

Then, being that kind of smart, I went outside in the dark and put an unused bird netting cage against where I saw a bright red orb on the ground. Carried a flashlight that time, at least.

Tonight my little nocturnal friends were out there two hours early. Party at eight. Guys? You’re getting louder.

I flipped on the outside light this time–why I didn’t those other two times for the life of me I do not know, oh wait, yes I do, it was after the neighbors’ bedtime those times–and waited a moment to let them take in this new variable.

And then I went outside and collected all the bird netting cages. The tomatoes are all done for anyway (oh wait one wasn’t) and grabbing the first of those, walked toward the pomegranate tree.

A short quick noise and another. I took another step forward.

Now, notice here that I’d been walking around out there backed up by the bright porch light and whatever it was had decided for all that time that I wasn’t a threat nor, apparently, even an interruption. That offers a suggestion as to what it was. Yow.

Then suddenly there was the skittering sound of a small-ish critter bouncing off who knows what in its scramble to get away back through the shed, the one whose outer edge was left so conveniently lifted high by the departed redwood tree.

Okay then. As long as you’re gone now… I managed to get the house-facing half of the pomegranate surrounded with my makeshift barrier; should have done all that by daylight awhile ago but I’d thought we had a few more weeks to go on those and I’d wanted the fruit to get every bit of sweetening sunlight it could this late in the year.

They say the way to tell if pomegranates are ripe is the color, if they’re heavy, and if you can see the bulges of the arils inside pressing against the shell. (I still think this one needed another week or two but once it’s split you have to grab it before it rots.)

I say it’s when the tree is issuing so many invitations to the wildlife that you’re risking a fight between the raccoons or possums and the skunks every night.

The skunks always, always win.

Except tonight.

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Get a head lamp. My mom regifted me one that she thought was a silly gift, but it has become extremely useful. Looking into any dark area, corner where that bead rolled to, underneath the sink to fix whatever, and checking out those night noises. Good luck! The one I have is pretty basic but does allow me to adjust the beam to shine down in front of me or out straighter for a wider view.

Comment by DebbieR 11.04.23 @ 6:33 am

You got lucky there! Dodged a bullet, so to speak.

Comment by ccr in MA 11.05.23 @ 7:06 am

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