Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wednesday Vignette: Rats!

In one of the driest years I can remember, the persimmon and guava trees in my garden have produced more fruit than I've ever seen before.  What's up with that?!  I can't walk through my north side garden without ducking my head to avoid the ripening persimmons - or, more commonly, hitting my head on the hanging fruit when I'm not paying attention.

This is the 'Hachiya' persimmon (Diospyros kaki).  The tree's fall foliage doesn't live up to expectations but the fruit is beautiful.  

The 'Fuyu' persimmon in the cutting garden is also loaded with fruit, the majority of which hangs over the fence that divides that part of the garden from what I call the north side garden.

This is the 'Fuyu' variety.  The fruit has a flat bottom and is said to be less astringent.  This tree reliably produces the most colorful fall foliage in my garden.

Neither my husband nor I care much for persimmons.  One source describes it as the "fruity love child of a mango and a roasted sweet pepper, with some cinnamon in the background."  I don't care for its texture, which is accurately described as "slippery."  I've already given some of it away but, as more of it ripens on the trees, I'd like to off-load the rest of it as soon as possible.  While all the critters, other than an occasional squirrel, ignore the still-green guavas, the persimmons attract a variety of creatures.  The raccoons break tree limbs getting to the fruit and frequently leave it half-eaten on the ground to rot.  Some fruit gets eaten while it's still on the tree.  I thought the culprit was a squirrel until I caught sight of this:

That's no squirrel!

He (or she) looked up at me and then kept on eating.  Doesn't he/she look healthy?  My cat's fur is less silky.  According to another reference, persimmons are a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C and B-6, potassium, and manganese.

Not wanting to get too close to the rat, I went inside to get my telephoto lens to capture a better shot but, by the time I got back, the rat had left.  I'm not sure which is worse: picking up half-eaten, rotting fruit from the ground, or trying to pull it off the tree.


I guess I need to start picking.  I'll hold some fruit for a friend who loves persimmons and may put the rest on the curb to see if it appeals to neighbors.  It's supposed to be tasty in muffins...

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

12 comments:

  1. It's a shame to have an abundance of fruit you don't care for! Not even in jams, jellies or tarts? I hope you enjoy Guavas better.
    The mention of rats make my skin crawl, but in your photo even this vermin looks kinda cute...

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    1. As rats go, that one looked pretty sleek to me ;)

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  2. My mother-in-law grows both varieties and dries them in a food dehydrator. I don't care so much for persimmons either, it you have a dehydrator t I would suggest you try drying them, they are super delicious!

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    1. That's interesting, Marina. Maybe the drying process concentrates the sugars in the fruit. We don't have a dehydrator but thanks for the suggestion.

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  3. Marina's suggestion sounds worth a try. If you don't have a dehydrator, putting slices on a wire rack in the oven on its lowest setting for a few hours will dry them. Fruit leather is a pretty good snack and it would take care of the slimy texture!

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    1. We don't have a dehydrator but maybe I'll try your DIY alternative, Eliza, if I don't manage to offload all the fruit in the near future. I just put two buckets of fruit out on the curb for neighbors to take to clear the way to walk down the path without ducking. There's still plenty more on the trees, not quite as ripe, but I hope to pass along at least some of that to a friend next week.

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  4. I think I've only had persimmon a couple of times...at work events, small bits in salads. I, too, am intrigued by the idea of drying them; most dried fruits are tasty. The rat! Wow!

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    1. The 2 buckets of persimmons I left on the curb for neighbors late yesterday afternoon were all gone this morning, Beth, so I guess there are plenty of people who like them!

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  5. This spring something started eating the new shoots on my bamboo, just after they'd started to push out. I quickly learned (thanks to friends who'd had it happen) the culprit was likely rats. Ugh. I feel your pain.

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    1. It may sound weird, Loree, but I preferred seeing this healthy rat than the dying rats I found last year when someone in the nearby was apparently poisoning them. Poisoning rats has serious consequences for local wildlife and even pets. Since finding a coyote at our back door last year, Pipig's no longer allowed to wander outside but a number of neighboring animals do.

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  6. OMG! We have rats living in our garden, but I never managed to photograph one!

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    1. I suspected rats were responsible for eating my tomatoes last year but they seemed to do that exclusively under the cover of darkness. This rat was operating in full daylight. I happened to have my camera with me when I caught sight of something with fur out of the corner of my eye...

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