So this morning I stepped outside to check my peach tree, and what should I find but two peaches lying on the ground, one eaten to the stone and one hardly touched at all.
This was definitely not the work of the bunnies, those lovers of clover and fine vegetables.
No, this was the work of...SQUIRRELS!!!!
I should have known better than to stake the tree yesterday. BUT, it was leaning to the west, the branches on that side so ladened with peaches that they were actually weighing the tree down. So I wrapped an old elastic bandage around the trunk (the worn out ones are perfect for use in supporting plants in the garden), tied a blue cord to the bandage, and tied that to a stake I then drove into the ground. The tree was again upright, the branches not waving dangerously close to the ground.
Of course I forgot that squirrels are notoriously good at tight-rope walking. Obviously, some furry friend simply scampered up the cord, bypassing the metal collar previously attached to the tree to ward off pesty critters, and jumped onto a branch where breakfast was conveniently waiting.
So okay, it was either come up with a plan to discourage the squirrels, or simply admit defeat and plan on eating far fewer peaches this year than originally expected.
Those who know me well know that I rarely admit defeat, and never to a squirrel. It didn't take me long to come up with an ingenious plan to discourage the little guys from feasting on my tree. After a quick trip to the garage, I was back at the tree holding a can of brake grease. I slathered the grease on the eleastic bandage and blue cord, then twisted four sharpened plant stakes into the bandage, making sure the pointed ends faced out and down towards the cord.
I stood back with a smile and admired my handiwork. Squirrels would have a hard time climbing that greased cord. Most likely they'd fall off, but just in case one did make it up to the trunk, he'd never get beyond the plant stakes with their sharp points.
It's now three hours later, and so far, no squirrels have approached the peach tree. I know it's too early to call this a complete victory on my part, but I'm crossing my fingers that I've won this most recent battle with nature.
I'm crossing them really hard!