I may have spoken once or twice about the depredations of squirrels. Magnolia blooms. Bedding-out plants in balcony flower pots. Tulip bulbs. Service-berry tree and flaming-bush berries. Bird seed in squirrel-proof feeders. But the depredatory nature of the neighbourhood squirrels has risen to new heights; their depredation has sunk to new lows; their agile depredaciousness seemingly knows no bounds.
In the Before Time, our travel schedule meant that vegetable gardening was out of the question. (Whew!) But in Covid Times, when a friend offered a tomato plant, I took it without question. Turns out, I should have asked one question.
Do squirrels like tomatoes?
Actually, no, that’s not the question. Liking don’t come into it.
Do squirrels rip hard green tomatoes off the plant,
take one bite, spit it out,
and leave the ruined/rejected tomato
to rot in the garden?
Again and again,
as long as there are fruits on the vine?
Yes. Yes they do.
But in the late fall, a squirrel’s fancy turns to something other than tomatoes. (What? Don’t know. Don’t care. It seems not to reside in my garden.) Thus it was that I rescued two small and dark-green tomatoes from the vine as part of the fall yard clean-up. And as these literally hard cases sat on my counter this past week, they underwent some sort of change. Faint streaks of red-brown have emerged alongside the dark green; one part of one is now slightly squishy to the touch.
Are they ripening? Maybe.
Are they rotting without ever ripening – a “direct from vine to compost bag” pipeline? Maybe more likely.
We shall see.