When we bought our property, some 20 years ago, one of the very first things I did was to plant nearly 600 different types of trees and bushes. The property had been farmed (over farmed) for many years. My goal was create a sort of "wildlife" sanctuary. I planted crab apples, hazelnuts, persimmons, hawthorns, winter berry, pecans, apples, pears, just to name a few. We've been waiting for nearly 20 years for our pecans to mature and begin producing, this year looked to be that year. While we've had small showing of pecans in the last few years, this year they were loaded and we were exited to finally harvest some. Over the years I've gotten used to the squirrels ravaging the hazelnuts and apples trees (they picked them clean again this year) but I've never seen such a concerted effort on behalf of the grey squirrels and our pecans. The nuts hadn't begun to open last weekend when Lorrie and I where checking them out. From everything I've read we needed to wait until the outer hull begins to split before harvesting. Yesterday when I was sitting at the breakfast nook drinking my morning coffee and looking out at things I noticed some activity under one of the pecan trees. Curious about what it was I slipped on some shoes and walked out. As I approached the tree two grey squirrels bolted from the base and 3 more exploded out of the branches. I looked around at the based of the tree and this is what it looked like:
Those little stinkers had nearly cleaned the tree of nuts. I noticed that the outer shells had now begun to split, looked like I wasn't the only one watching the pecans. All was not lost though. I went and told Lorrie that we had a CODE RED situation and needed to spend some time this morning gathering pecans for ourselves before the "Pecan Bandits" cleaned us out completely. We were able to get a fair amount of nuts, they're drying out now for a couple weeks, under lock and key inside our home:
Summer is definitely coming to a close because this weekend we picked our very last watermelon. Our summer produce is just about finished. I took a picture of Lorrie holding it:
What you see behind her is our new garden area for next year. Along with the squirrels we've had a real problem with the raccoons eating our tomatoes and about everything else. They dumped our flower and herb pots behind our house so many times this summer that I had to put little fences around the pots, which while not as aesthetically pleasing, did allow me to enjoy green curry chicken with fresh Thai basal. To prevent a repeat we fenced off new garden area, and also built new compost bins that are much closer to the garden. I guess I was successful in creating the wildlife sanctuary, maybe too much so.
In other news Mr Crab has went through another molt and is getting bigger and bigger. I took a shot of him munching on carrots. On this particular day his menu consisted of carrots, peanut butter (all natural of course), organic grapes, celery leaves and some organic chicken.
In about 6 weeks he should be on a more "local" diet.