The Race is On!
Mid to late summer the race is on, a contest between wildlife and a gardener on who will get to the ripe produce first. In my Missouri hillside garden, the race is currently between a family of grey squirrels and I, who likes ripe Bartlett pears.
I have a semi dwarf Bartlett pear tree that started to fruit after growing for 30 years. I planted it next to my deck with the thought that one day I could sit on the deck and pick a ripe pear, one of my all-time favorite fruits. It’s my version of a tree of life.
My deck is currently torn up and getting rebuilt but that hasn’t stopped the squirrels, they have developed a taste for green pears and somewhat of a similar plan.
Like clockwork, they show up in my garden late afternoon and start shopping for their fruit snack. I know they are around because I see the tree branches shaking.
Once a pear is selected and removed, they settle in on my deck. Well, what is currently left of the old deck.
If I try to discourage them from climbing the pear tree, they scamper off for a few minutes only to return to their shopping.
Once they have a pear, they settle back on the deck to enjoy it.
So far there seems to be enough pears to go around but my handyman is not so sure. His comment sounded like one of those math questions - if four squirrels consume a pear a day and it takes the Bartlett pear three 4 weeks to ripen, how many squirrels will help plant more trees.
Next year I may hedge my bets and cover part of the tree with some kind of netting. In the meantime, I am still counting on sharing these pears with these enterprising squirrels.