Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Vegetarian vampire squirrels on my balcony
OK, so I sorta stole that from my amigo Robert Tres. But this is a true story.
I got home yesterday and one of the plants that had been growing happily in a pot in our urban garden on the balcony had been decimated. The baby lettuces had been neatly snipped (as it turns out, eaten) off the plant.
I asked Mr. RK, "Did you harvest this plant?"
He looked at me like I had asked him if he wanted to roll around in a bowl of jello. (He doesn't eat vegetables unless I force him by threatening to withhold sex.)
So then we tried to figure out the veggie eater...it wasn't a bug, because there were no holes or small nibbles. The leaves simply vanished, sad-looking stalks left behind.
Could it be a squirrel?
Do they eat lettuce?
I'm a suburban kid and don't know much about wildlife.
If it was a squirrel, how the fuck did they get up to the balcony? Did they build an elevator?
Mr. RK said, "Perhaps they have croutons waiting back in their nest. Perhaps a young male squirrel suggested this as a spot for a hot date and a salad."
I have to eat crow because I was e-mailing Lynn about tomato plants. She said squirrels can sometimes eat them and I thought, "Ha! No worries about that, I live on the second floor."
Famous last words.
So I really am curious. Do you think they used our balcony (and our plants) as a salad bar?
Now, I have a halfway decent chance of finding out - not because I am setting up a web cam, but because my good buddy Mike D is also curious and is going to do a little experiment for me. Namely, he is going to leave some lettuce outside of his house in Connecticut and see if they eat it.
Oh yes - one more thing. I asked Mr. RK, "Should we put up that metal netting to keep them out?"
"No," he replied. "You should share."