Thursday, July 8, 2010

No plant is safe from the evil urban squirell

There is a unique pride involved in gardening. You plant these fragile little seedlings, and nurture them to be big strong, fruit or flower producing plants. You fertilize them. You water them daily. You get them a nice fancy pot so they look nice while growing. Granted, it is for selfish reasons. You want to enjoy their flowers, or eat the veggies the plants produce. But along the way you become invested in the organism that you are prodding to flourish, and become proud at the green thumb you are developing.
And then. The weather, or some marauding little beast comes along and steals your pride and joy away. It’s a feeling akin to raising a child and then having it snatched up and devoured by goblins.
Ok. Maybe it’s not quite that devastating, but I am still feeling very freshly wounded by the evil squirrel that stole my prize tomato this morning.

I climbed out on to my fire escape this morning (per usual), which was not an easy feat, since I only remembered to do it AFTER I was dressed for work, and in a constricting knee length skirt. I poured in the small pitcher of water and lifted up the leaves to check in on the one large tomato that I’ve been eagerly watching get bigger and bigger, and dreaming about what a tasty sandwich it would make when it finally ripened. There are other tomatoes on the plant, but they are all much smaller, and some are prone to turning black and falling away (though I’m still not really sure why this is happening). I searched. My prize tomato was not there.

HORRORS! I heard a rustling above me. I looked up, and crouched on the fire escape above my head sat the evil squirrel that haunts my only outdoor area. Then I look over and see the half-knawed remains of my prize tomato discarded below him. I wasn’t sure whether to cry or throw the little creature off the fire escape right then and there.

Don’t worry. I’m not that crazy as to try to touch an animal living on the streets of NYC, but I did gesture angrily until he took off. I’m not sure why he has to hunt for food 4 stories up. I really thought that my plants were safe from the intrusions of wild life that high up.

I just don’t get it. There are plenty of tress on the ground level. There is lots of garbage to forage. Maybe it’s some strange adaptation to wildlife living in the city, the need to check out fire escapes for plants. I should have known that little bugger would cause trouble when he made off with the top of my jack-o-lantern last year. Darn squirells.

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