Squirrels

Squirrel 0 Jennifer 12

By | Squirrels | 5 Comments

This year I am winning. My fig tree is not beautiful, but it is productive. Every winter I wonder if it is worth the effort of dragging it into the apartment and down the stairwell to the landing which is the coolest darkest spot we have. The tree is only about 1.5 metres tall however, the pot is big and heavy and manhandling it down the stairs isn’t easy. We have to walk around it all winter then drag it back outside in the spring. Yet every year the tree rewards our efforts by producing lots of figs.

This year there are well over 30. They take a time to ripe in Toronto’s climate and usually “the squirrel” gets to them before me. This stupid, indiscriminate animal knocks them off before they are ripe and doesn’t even bother to eat them. If he ate them he might be worth catching and cooking. This year after he’d removed a green lemon from our lemon tree we decided to take action. We covered the tree with mesh, and despite being labeled deer fencing it works wonders as protection against thieving squirrels.

Now I can let the figs to ripen naturally and every day there are several ready, the tree seems to know there is not much time left before it will be imprisoned again in the stairwell. And while my figs may pale in comparison to those grown in warmer climes they are pretty damn good. The skins are thicker than the imported ones, but they are sweeter. Deer fencing is now covering our lemon tree too protecting the 2 lemons left. However, it is flowering again and is a magnet for bees that seem to be able to get to the blossoms through the netting but not find their way out. So every day we take the netting off. Luckily the squirrel is not smart enough to figure this out, yet.

I think deer fencing will be covering my raspberry canes next year. Not to protect against the squirrels, but the two legged raiders who seem to think they can just wander into my yard and help themselves. If only there was some way to electrify it…..

Summer time and summer dreams

By | Figs, snow, Spring, Squirrels, Summer time | 2 Comments

Yes I know it’s not officially spring yet, but we have switched to summer time and the weather here is glorious. It’s warm, 15 C and everyone has emerged onto the streets. Neighbours are cleaning up their gardens and we’ve even hauled our plants outside to give them some fresh air. The fig tree has woken up to the longer hours of sunlight and is sprouting leaves. It is still cool at night but if it stays above freezing we’ll leave it, the bay trees, the olive and the lemon out on the deck. The forecast for the rest of the week is good, so all of us who are stuck in Toronto are not complaining. We’re happy we didn’t spend the money to fly to south for spring break.

The fig tree is happy too. There are already a couple of figs swelling, so if I can fight off that pesky squirrel I might be in for a good harvest this year.

Alas there is a blip on the horizon – snow flurries are predicted for next week.

Bientôt Paris

By | Croissants, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Squirrels | No Comments

Tomorrow I’ll be sipping a cafe au lait and munching on a delicious croissant from the Le Moulin Vert Boulangerie, just up the street from our apartment. And, as you can guess, I can hardly wait.
This week has been a mess of loose ends to tidy up and now just hours before the flight I think I’m finished. Still no reappearance of the dreaded squirrel, perhaps he’s waiting until I leave town? Only 3 green figs left on the tree so he can have them. But, if I find any nuts buried in my planters he’ll be history when I return.

I love the autumn and this is a photo of the Luxembourg gardens shows how beautiful it is in Paris. A good walk, or short bus ride from our place this wonderful park is always busy, but there are lots of hidden corners where you can often find yourself alone.

Jennifer 9 Squirrel – still only 3

By | Figs, Hunting, Paris, Squirrels | One Comment

It seems to be working. I’ve harvested 4 more figs, so I am way ahead of the squirrel. I’ve even left my tree outside overnight as the weather has warmed back up to 19 C in the evening. September is always a wacky month for weather.
Now I am just covering one or two figs at a time with the plastic bag. While this leaves the rest of the figs exposed, they are so small, green and hard, that I doubt they will ripen and I am pretty sure they won’t before the end of next week when we leave for Paris. I am hoping that if the rodent with a tail does manage to harvest a green one, it will give him such a belly ache that he’ll never try again.

And for those of you thinking of eating or shooting squirrels you may want to read this or this.