I was just over at my neighbor’s house and he mentioned in passing that the raccoons had stolen all his peaches.
A cold chill ran up my spine.
Actually it was a very warm, humid day and my clothes were plastered to my person, so I would have welcomed any sort of chill. What I felt was fear and indignation wrapped in futility. Here I’d been watching my peaches for signs of insect damage, disease, unexplained fruit drop, whatever. I’d completely forgotten about outright theft by varmint.
How I could forget can only be explained by post traumatic amnesia because I’m no stranger to theft by varmint. Squirrels robbed me of my entire muscadine crop last year. Raccoons ate all my cantaloupes and watermelons the year before that. I wage an annual war against birds eating my blueberries to the point I’ve constructed a 7-foot high netting frame to keep them out.
And that’s on the terranean plane. Beneath the surface, moles make corduroy of the garden while voles eat roots and root vegetables. Sometimes all is left of entire plants is a tell-tale hole.
I quickly googled ways to keep raccoons from eating peaches. I laughed out loud after reading a comprehensive article on the subject and reached the “Things You Will Need” section.
I think it may be the best list I’ve ever seen:
- Mylar balloons and streamers
- Aluminum pie tins
- 1/4- to 1/2-inch plastic mesh bird netting
- Heavy boards
- Predator urine
- Dry dog food, cheap cracked corn or sunflower seeds
- Wooden rat traps
- Hammer and nails
- Peanut butter
- Flexible measuring tape
- Sheet metal 48 to 60 inches wide
- Tin snips
- Zip ties or wire
- Six-foot stakes*
It is, incidentally, the exact same list as for the article, “How to Lure, Kidnap, and Ransom an Organ Grinder Monkey.”
The list alone confirms what I already knew: Call me Melba because my peaches are toast.
If the articles I read are any indication, I would have to go Carl Spackler on those raccoons and I think we know how well that turned out.
I’m saying good-bye now to the beautiful peaches on my beautiful Belle Of Georgia peach tree. It’s easier this way.
And I’ll just keep telling myself, I’m all right; nobody worry ’bout me.
*List credit: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/keep-varmints-eating-peaches-off-trees-39016.html