Race for my pears!!!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Hovey Hollow, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I kept finding half-eaten pears laying on the ground, so I assumed that the deer were eating fallen fruit. Yesterday I was out picking up a couple of fallen fruits for the horses (and me). We just had a good storm so lots of fresh fallen fruit. So I'm standing there and this pear comes falling out of the tree and nearly beans me on the head. I look at it and it's half eaten!!! I look up and this little squirrel is just looking at me and shaking his tail!!!! So I pick up a couple of pears and lob them at him. I doubt it did much good, I'm sure he will be back.
    The pears are getting to be a nice size, and they are really sweet, but no where near being ripe yet. This is the first year I've had a fruit tree (just moved here in Dec) so I'm wondering if I pick them now they will go ahead and ripen indoors right? Or will they taste much better if picked ripe? How many pears can a little squirrel eat? There were at least a dozen half eaten pears under the tree. Or is he going to invite all his buddies over for dinner? The tree is loaded, so I could share with him if I didn't think I would have every squirrel in the tri-county area snacking on my pears. If I do pick them all how should I store them? I don't have a root cellar. I was going to try my hand at canning them, but they are too hard right now. I'm eating a few of them green. They are really tasty. I see why the squirrel likes them.
    Anyway, thanks in advance and sorry for SO many questions.
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    My Aunt had a pear tree, and she took a few pears at a time out of the fridge to let them ripen.

    The trouble with the squirrel, of course, is that the little stinker will choose a fresh pear every time it gets hungry. :grit:
     

  3. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    So I should start picking them now and store them in the fridge? My crisper drawers are pretty much empty so I have some room.
     
  4. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,104
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    TN
    We have 2 mature pear trees and they were completely covered with fruit until 2 weeks ago. Squirrels ate every one of the pears! They had a little help from crows, but very little. One week the pears were there, then the next week when we went out they were gone. They get some every year but there's always been plenty left for us. Made me so mad - I wanted to dry a bunch of them. The only thing we can think of is that the squirrels are extra hungry because there were practically no nuts last year. Lots of them died over the winter. Obviously not enough though! The only way you'll keep them out of your tree is to have yourself some squirrel stew. We certainly would have if we had known what they were up to. We plan to really thin them out this fall.
     
  5. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,081
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Hi Hovey,

    We always pick our pears in mid to late August when they are green but of full size. If you let them ripen on the tree, they will get mealy and mushy. Keep them in a cool place, your crisper drawer is a nice choice and save your first pear crop from those pesky squirrels. You might be sorry if you don't! Just pull out a few and ripen them on the counter for a couple of days. They ripen faster if next to bananas or in a brown paper bag. Depending on the variety though, you may be able to let them ripen on the tree. I believe ours is a Barlett variety. Hope this helps. Bon apetite!

    P.S. We aren't getting any pears this year, or apples, cherries, peaches and plums. They all were lost to multiple hard frosts in May. What a dissappointment this year. I keep waiting for those cherries from our little tree. This year it is finally starting to size up. Maybe next year I can get them before the birds. I might just build a kitty condo next to the tree to keep the birds off of it. That darn netting sure doesn't stop 'em. :flame:
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,807
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    We have a squirrel that takes a couple bites of apple, then drops them (intentionally!) on the dog. I have witnesses -- I am NOT making this up! The squirrels around here also get the dog running back and forth along the fence by dancing on the power lines. They think the dog is great entertainment. Me, I'm embarrassed for my dog. The dog doesn't seem to have any self-respect whatsoever...

    But the other day, Buster the Wonder Dog actually caught the darned squirrel, he just wasn't sure what to do with it. He picked it up, shook it, then dropped it. The apple-destroying, dog-baiting squirrel lay against the back fence, the picture of sweet innocence now that he was dead.

    "Well," I thought, "this is an opportunity to learn another homesteading skill. Don't want to waste perfectly good squirrel meat, do you?" I had an "uh-oh" feeling, but there was something inside me that told me I must push on. Since I don't yet know how to dress out game (large or small), I phoned FIL for an over-the-phone lesson. He was out, and would phone me back.

    So, while squeezing down my growing feelings of apprehension, I put on my gloves and went out to move the squirrel to a better spot.

    My heart rate rose as I bent down to pick up my hope-to-be supper, and then -- the little blighter twitched! Then, he opened his shiny little eye. Not dead, but not able to really move, either. Oy. Now what?

    The thought of picking squirrely up and wringing its neck bothered me: What if I did it wrong and I had to find yet another way to kill it? Looking around the yard, my eyes fell on the hatchet DD left out (again) when she was building a fire. Hmmm... No, the squirrel was too close to the fence for me to get a good chop in. A large stick? Still felt kinda violent, but...

    I suddenly didn't feel so angry about the ruined apples lying all about my yard. This is a genuinely intelligent animal, one smart enough to bean the dog at every turn... But I have to do something, the thing is lying there half-dead after his run-in with Buster...

    Hey! Waitiminit! Good ol' Buster is right here! I'll let him pick up the squirrel and give it a good ol' Buster-Shake, and that will finish the killing part anyway, and then I can take it from there.

    "Here, hey! Buster! Look what's here at the fence!"

    Good ol' Buster went over to Mr. Fluffy Squirrel and sniffed. He snuffed. He snorfled. Then he stood back and he BARKED: "Ru-ROWF!"

    That squirrel shot up like he had 50,000 volts going through him, hopped onto the fence, and took off like a rocket.

    Well, looks like my cowardice kept me from having squirrel stew, and the apple trees will continue to suffer losses, and ol' Buster will continue to get beaned on the head.

    But I still feel a great sense of relief...

    Pony!
     
  7. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    LOL!!!
    Even thought they are frustrating as all get out you just have to love them for the comic relief. They are very intelligent, and seem to have a sense of humor as well. They've just figured out that we are an easy mark. We grow yummy food for them, we hang tons of food out in little boxes (birdfeeders) for them and we provide entertainment and exercise. (ie. our pets and our attempts to **** them away)

    Makes me think of another thread to start over in homesteading questions.............funny squirrel stories. Maybe you should post your story over there when I get it up.
     
  8. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    989
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    I opened this thread b/c I also have a pear tree that the squirrells are eating from. I mowed the grass this morning to find at least a dozen half eaten pears all over the ground. We also have a dog named Buster who hates the squirrells. Used to be, we would just have to say, "get the squirrel" and he'd patrol the yard for an hour looking for one. AND THEN, he started bringing them to me, my back door, a dead squirell and occasional wild bunny. So we stopped telling him to get the squirrel but he never stopped. They'd get down just low enough on the tree where he couldn't get to them, and they'd sit there and shake thier tail. BUT, then he climbed the tree, I kid you not he climbed the tree. He blew out his knee doing it, and it had to be replaced. He still limps and squats instead of lifting his leg but if we don't watch him he goes up the tree, after the squirrels.
    Back on topic, my pears are getting heavy too. If they dont ripen soon enough I won't have any and the squirrels will be nice and fat. Well, that'll make a nice stew, anyway.
     
  9. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    OMG! I near peed in my pants laughing!!! Who needs the comedy channel?? :goodjob: :D