Friday, 11 October 2013

Pride Becomes Before A Fall


Smug satisfaction about my bumper 2013 apple harvest has rapidly gone out of the window, or it might be more appropriate to say out of the garage door in this case. There has been much gnashing and gnawing of teeth. Venturing in to the garage earlier this week to store some spring flowering bulbs until I was ready to plant them, I thought to have a quick look at my apples. What apples? Some of them had totally disappeared without a trace whilst others had been nibbled. Result - some 60 or so apples totally ruined. I could have wept.

The Crime Scene 
The garage, the doors of which have been left open all day for most of the past week, as himself is engaged in a major diy project so there has been much coming and going.

Whodunit? 
Main suspect is squirrels .We have a plague of the creatures which are up to seasonal mischief at the moment hiding conkers away for their winter larder. They usually appear to forget about them and leave me to pull out chestnut seedlings in the spring.

There is about an acre of uncultivated land behind the garden which has a stream running through it, so over the years we've seen the odd rat or two but I can't see a rat making off with a whole apple.

Any other suggestions to add to the wanted poster which will be going up shortly?

The Verdict
Apart from giving every squirrel I see a dirty look for the foreseeable future, the decision has been made to store next years crop in the harder to access shed. As for apples I still have a few left in the house so I am going to savour those with even greater delight.

PS What I forgot to say was that there was also a nasty present from the culprit in the form of some droppings. Maybe other unsavoury doings went on. That decided me on not attempting any rescue as far as the remains were concerned.

34 comments:

  1. Deepest sympathies.
    I was going to say mice, until I read about whole apples disappearing. So I'd be inclined to go with squirrels too. Little b*ggers!

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    1. Thanks for the sympathies Jessica. Mice were removed from the list of suspects at an early stage - couldn't see them lifting over and above their own bodyweight although we could have a supermouse at large :)

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  2. Yikes, very likely the squirrels are the culprit indeed. They do the same to the apples on one of our neighbours garden and sometimes they even drag the apples on to our side for us to tidy.

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    1. Oh aren't they most considerate guys - as of you do not have enough tidying to do!

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  3. Oh no! How annoying. Make apple chutney with what's left of the "nibbled" ones before they come back for more?

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jenny. Would have considered chutney etc but there were only about a dozen intact apples left along with an unpleasant deposit. Put me off entirely :)

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  4. That's so disappointing, I really feel for you. It wouldn't be so bad if they'd just had one or two, but taking a bite out of many is pure vandalism. I didn't know that a squirrel would venture in to a garage, we're lucky, we're not bothered by them at all around here. I think Jenny's got a good idea, get some use out of the ones which have been nibbled, and then lock the rest away.

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    1. We were surprised Jo as last year's smaller apple crop was stored in the garage but came to no harm at all. Next year's crop will be under lock and key plus close circuit tv surveillance :)

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  5. What a disappointment, Anna! I can't say I blame you for raging - I would too! I've lost about 20 apples to someone who came in the night to strip one of the trees (a month too soon, they would have been quite tart!) and there's a contingent of builders on site here who cheerfully admitted to helping themselves!! Cheeky sods, no thought of leaving apples for the people who grew them! (Although, I admit the Braeburns are particularly crisp, juicy and delicious this year!) I have rescued the apples that are left and intend to eat or freeze the fruit that I've been left with; I recommend you do the same!

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    1. Oh no Caro - harder to forgive human thieves than it is animal ones. I hope that in the case of the night time help yourself brigade that an unsettled tum ensued! Sadly the majority of the apples totally evaporated :(

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  6. Oh how woeful Anna :(

    Our squirrels do the same here, so I think your suspicions are correct. Grrr.

    I use my damaged fruit for cooking e.g. apple jelly. A wash and a good long boil should render any squirrel 'additions' harmless. It would be a pity to compost or throw them away

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    1. Thanks for your sympathy VP and for confirming my suspiscions. I might have attempted a salvage job but so few left and was totally put off by the little present.

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  7. I'm so sorry for you, Anna - how terrible to see the complete harvest destroyed! Maybe if you took a pic of the droppings I might be able to help you with a solution. By the way, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks squirrels are rather delicious...cooked that is ;). Worth a thought...maybe...have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks Annette for your offer of help in the forensics department but the droppings were disposed of immediately. Baked squirrel has not featured on the menu here yet - maybe next year with generous dollops of apple sauce :) Hope that you enjoyed your weekend.

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  8. How annoying, I can quite understand your frustration! I agree, rather than waste them, a good scrub, peeled and cooked then you could freeze them for using later and yes, squirrel pie sounds lovely!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Pauline. Sadly the few remaining ones have gone into my compost heap but I've learned a lesson in apple keeping :)

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  9. Oh no, how utterly horrid, particularly with the little leaving present, no wonder you don't want to attempt a rescue. Fingers crossed you have an even better harvest next year, squirrel-proof storage does seem to be indicated.

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    1. I'm planning next year's storage methods already Janet :) Thanks for your kind words.

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  10. Yes, what a shame, Anna - !pesky blighters - but please don't waste the apples, they are still worth doing something with, despite the nibbles. I am intrigued by the uncultivated land with a stream - does it belong to anybody?

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    1. If it had not been for the droppings Cathy I would have been creative although there were so few remaining! The land as far we know belongs to a building company that built the houses above and behind us about fifty years ago or so. Access is a problem so we hope that it stays as it is.

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  11. It was the mice that nibbled mine 2 years ago... so annoying! Relish the last ones Anna!

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  12. I'd say squirrels too. One ate all but one apple on the tree in our garden as they formed. Was probably too fat to reach the last one.

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    1. Oh no how infuriating BST. Your last sentence has conjured up some chuckle making images :)

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  13. Oh how disappointing Anna! Glad that you have salvaged some at least - pesky critters!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Sara. "Pesky" creatures sums them up well. I'm afraid that the words that escaped my lips at the time were not as ladylike :)

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  14. My guess would be squirrels, how flipping annoying!

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    1. Another vote for squirrel - definitely the most wanted suspect now. Thanks for commenting Su.

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  15. You have my sympathies. We have an apple tree. This is its 2nd year and this time we had 18 fruits compared to 6 in the 1st year. We were so chuffed but then the wasps got to some of them. We were gutted. I managed to rescue some and we had some intact but even so ... very annoying. I would have said mice but unless there's a supermouse out there I would be surprised if they could take a whole apple. Lets hope for a great fruit year again next year so we can both get on top of the pesky fruit-eating creatures. ;)

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    1. Oh I feel for you WW - it would not seem as bad if you did not have to wait a whole year for another crop. Fingers crossed that we are comparing positives next year.

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  16. Hi Anna! In such cases, I always say to the creatures - why don't you take ONE piece (apple or other fruit or leaf or vegetable) and eat it all? Why should you bite here and there, damaging ALL of them? Then, we could share!

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  17. Oh how good to hear from you Tatyana :) Yes it would be so much more considerate if they behaved like that. Imagine what would happen if we took one or two bites from everything in our fruit bowls. Will be over to see what you are up to soon.

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  18. Oh Anna!!! This is the destruction you told me about via your comment. The cheeky beggars taking a nibble from all of them? A proper hit and run. Honestly growing fruit and veg can be heartbreaking at times.

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  19. prevention is worth.......my crystal ball sees apple sauce in your cupboard?

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.