My patio wall is "nut highway." Which is not to say it is populated by religious zealots holding signs predicting the end of the world, or that goofy sect of Catholics promulgating their theory that Galileo was wrong after all. Squirrels. I'm talking about squirrels. It's rush hour on my patio wall all day long. Acorns being ferried south. Pecans being transported north. Chattering and posturing, up the towering grevalia trees and down, through my scraggly hibiscus hedge, up my denuded apricot tree and into the neighbors' flowering pear. Complete fucking squirrely nuttiness, and I am contemplating mayhem.
I have eaten exactly one apricot from my tree in the four years I've lived here. True, I travel a lot. And I've done some STUPID THINGS. If I stayed home more often, I could tend things better. Next spring when the apricots appear, I hope to be here installing robotic owls or motion sensitive barking devices. Maybe I'll coat every branch of the tree with vaseline or chili pepper or encase each little green precursor of golden fruit into its own tiny wire cage.
Or maybe I'll buy a gross of these and wrestle the furry-tailed little shits into some tighty whiteys and hope for a reduced squirrel sperm count.
I know there are people who love squirrels. I apologize. But I love my paltry and petite urban garden. I want to pick bowls of blueberries and strawberries and stir them into my yogurt. I want apricots heaped into the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter. I want a handful of kumquats every damn day that they're in season. I don't want squirrels.
I used to eat squirrel when I was a kid. My dad hunted them and my mom served them up with gravy. My dad helped me tie the fluffy tails to my tricycle handles. I don't own a bike now, and I'm a vegetarian or maybe I could more actively solve this problem, you know what I mean?
My patio is also home to two kinds of geraniums, three rose bushes, two colors of kalanchoe, camellias, hydrangeas, impatiens, jasmine, bougainvillea, calla lilies, and several varieties of hibiscus. Can we talk about the hibiscus for a minute? The flowers are pretty enough although there's no scent, and they're not good for cutting. Which means that the only reason to keep battling the white fly that so dearly loves them is the flowers in situ. But I don't have a lot of flowers. Which, as I've said, is the whole point of hibiscus-ness. I should feed them more, I thought. Do a better job of keeping the whitefly off them. I should prune more--or prune less.
Today I understood everything.
If you see a squirrel in underpants, I'm responsible.
photo credit for "Squirrel Underpants": www.squirrelunderpants.com/ "Protect the world from squirrel nudity!"