Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Watching the Squirrels Go By

I’ve been finishing up a book over the last two weeks, and attempting to write some proposals. Consequently, I’ve been in my office a lot. A whole lot. A few years ago, my son wanted to change rooms-he wanted my basement office in a bad way. Since it meant so much to him, I switched, thinking sunlight might be a nice change of pace. It has been. But it has also induced a lot of staring out the window at our backyard. Usually, there’s not much to see.

But in the late summer, I often find myself staring out the window and seeing how my husband’s garden is doing. Last summer, he grew a giant pumpkin. This year, we’ve got tons of watermelons, strawberries, and a bumper tomato crop. I haven’t told Tom, but I’ve had a lot of fun watching a certain squirrel terrorize his tomatoes.

This squirrel eats tomatoes the way I eat a box of chocolate-with one bite out of each. It’s a bad habit. Somehow I convince myself that I’m only going to eat a whole piece if the chocolate’s really good. So if I bite into a piece that has some of that awful strawberry filling, I hastily move on to the next, just to see if I might get lucky and find caramel or pecans.

Anyway, that squirrel must be of the same mindset, because each morning around nine am, I see him stealthily scamper on our back fence, do a mission-impossible worthy dive into the tomato patch, and eagerly chomp.

This is driving my husband nuts. Every time he finds a tomato with just one bite out of it, he picks it up and places it along the perimeter of the garden-kind of the way tribesmen must have left out shrunken heads for unwary trespassers. Tom is sure the sight is going to either stop the squirrels or convince them to take two bites instead of just one.

It doesn’t. Day after day, the pesky guy goes in between the fallen fruit and grabs a tomato still on the vine, clings to it like a trapeze artist, and bites. It’s impressive.

Lately, things have gotten worse. The squirrel has a friend. Just yesterday, I saw two squirrels out in the garden, rummaging and pillaging Tom’s beautiful beefsteak tomatoes.

They were entertaining enough to make me forget for a good thirty minutes that I have work to do. Watching Tom scurry out to the garden, pick up those poor tomatoes and look mad as all get out has been pretty entertaining, too.

I just hope those squirrels don’t figure out a way to get to the watermelon anytime soon. Now that would be a tragedy.



Sara said...

Watching the world outside out window can either be a great time waster - or give one plenty of ideas. I tend to watch out my window when I am in the process of sewing on a quilt!!!

Shelley Galloway said...

Hi Sara!
Now, you have the perfect window-watching activity! Are you a quilter? I made one-it took me four years and was shamefully off-kilter. I learned the hard way how important it is to match up every corner just right.

Thanks for saying hi!


Estella said...

I love to watch the squirrel we have in our feeder. Fortunately he leaves my husbands tomatoes alone.