It'S Me Or The Squirrels - From the mouth of babes Blog at - 176324

From the mouth of babes

It's me or the squirrels 
May 22, 2010 6:37 am 
Updated: May 26, 2010 10:27 pm
If you know our family, then you know how important apricot season is. You also know of our extreme distaste for rodents, despite the pet guinea pig we keep so lovingly spoiled with carrots and hay. We live in a little townhouse in the middle of the city. Our neighborhood was once riddled with gangs activity and was probably the backdrop to more than one newspaper article on organized crime. After 20 years of biding their time and waiting for the inevitable change that comes with urbanization, my parents now find themselves sitting on one of the most sought-after bits of real estate in the area. We're near the metro, there are daycares and book stores and super markets everywhere. There is a dog walking park and a gas station just a few blocks away. Though the opportunity to move to a large suburban home à la American dream came up many times, my brother and I remained adamant about our beloved little townhouse. Here we could have the social lives and entertainment teenagers so ardently crave. But I digress. There is still one unwanted gang in the neighborhood. They live on our front lawn. They're fuzzy and cute in appearance, ferocious and greedy in demeanor. I'm talking about the Eastern grey squirrels.

Since as long as I can remember, we've had a tall, handsome apricot tree in front of our house. In the summer time we practically live off of its delicious fruits. These are naturally smaller than the ones you would find at a supermarket, but I assure you that no one has had a real apricot until they have had one of ours. In every sticky, succulent mouthful, there is more flavor than the pallet could even begin to describe. Whenever my friends would come over, they would ask two questions: Hi, how are you? Got any apricots yet?

Now, we normally wouldn't mind having one or two squirrels in the area. They help populate trees and generally they don't make much of a fuss like snakes or rats. However, they are remarkably dumb. It is not an uncommon sight in summer to find a squirrel happily romping through our tree, plucking a still green apricot from its bud, taking one bite, and dropping it to the ground, unfinished. Now imagine them doing this 50 times, in a row, without learning their lesson. Green fruit = bad, little fella. My mom's tried to coax them away by offering a bowl of peanuts or raisins by our door, but they never seem as interested in these. When she is particularly exasperated, she'll take her broom, open the window, and practically chase after the beasty herself.

I just tasted my first home-grown apricot of the year this morning. I had found it bright and orange, sitting cheerfully outside the kitchen window waiting for me. I plucked the fruit with as much stealth as I could muster and slammed the window shut immediately. A forlorn looking squirrel watched me from outside as I took the first bite. I felt kind of bad, having clearly stolen the apple - apricot - of his eye, and opened the window again to give him the leftover pit. He took it from the windowsill and scrambled away. Perhaps there is fruit enough for the both of us after all.
May 22, 2010 12:32 pm
yum...fresh apricots. I'm drooling.
May 22, 2010 6:13 pm
I am so jealous! every day I check our local markets for apricots so I can make apricot jam, they were at the farm market this week but $8.99/lb! too rich for me :(
May 22, 2010 7:00 pm
Ha - I used to have bird feeders and the squirrels were my nemesis. My husband tried everything to find a place the squirrels couldn't reach with no luck. They also dug up hundreds of tulip , jonquil and daffodil bulbs and replaced them with acorns! But they are so cute.
May 22, 2010 8:32 pm
I love the way you write! That was fun to read.
May 23, 2010 6:21 am
Nice blog!
May 23, 2010 11:39 am
Squirrels are nothing more than rats with furry tails.....incredibly dumb yes, incredibly annoying as well....from raiding bird feeders to uprooting tulip bulbs to yanking out freshly planted annuals....and to go along with the Eastern Gray Squirrels are the Black ones that are a sub-group of the Gray's....soo double your pleasure (annoyance) in my neighbourhood with these nasty critters...and don't get me started on the Cottage Wrecker Red Squirrels!!! Half the size but double the trouble!!! Great blog - I most definitely have a pretty good talent!
May 24, 2010 11:48 am
Gitano is close to my name for squirrels- tree rats! They have been very destructive in recent years but they remain protected. Ours are black squirrels and they aren't even native to the USA. They were imported from europe (by one of the Kellogg brothers) to eliminate the red squirrels. They did cause a localized reduction in the red squirrel population but they're just as nasty as the red squirrels. Nothing gained.
May 24, 2010 12:29 pm
Great blog! I share your love affair with apricots. In fact, I wrote a blog about my memories of my great grandmother being directly tied to summer afternoons sitting in the canopy of her apricot tree eating it's glorious fruits right out of the branches with my cousins. Those were some of the BEST times of my childhood :-)
May 26, 2010 10:27 pm
I remember as a child, my grandparents had a fruit farm near Fresno. My grandfather had these large, plastic discs that he had tied around each tree. They looked like the plastic from milk containers, but more like the brim of a large hat - slippery and wide. The squirrels couldn't climb over it to get into the tree. SAVE THOSE APRICOTS.. they are probably delicious.. even to the squirrels.
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About Me
I discovered this site one morning when I had been craving french toast and the family was not yet awake to help me out. Until that day I had never really known what french toast was made from. I don't think I've been this addicted to a site since my childhood Neopets obsession.
My favorite things to cook
desserts of course
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother is a french catholic who married into an old jewish family. As such, our holiday meals always consist of matzah ball soup and buche de Noelle; a truly devine combination.
My cooking triumphs
- poaching an egg all by myself - receiving the most praise from anyone who prepared anything for this year's thanksgiving dinner (I made a lovely banana cake) - preparing lunch for the occupants of an abused women's shelter in my neighborhood
My cooking tragedies
Omitting the sugar and doubling the vanilla from a batch of sour cream pancakes. Never has an attempt at healthy cooking gone so utterly wrong.
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