The other night, quite late, I let the dogs out to the back yard and a huge uproar. Grabbing the flashlight, I saw a “dead” comadreja (possum) on the grass. (“Dead:” of course it was gone the next morning.)
By daylight, I noticed something near one of our two very prolific (this year, at least) avocado trees.
Look to the top left and lower right, and you’ll see what look like mushrooms, or eggs, or – you guessed it – avocado pits.
Today, under the other, which produces larger fruit, I saw more evidence of recent activity.
That avocado skin in the foreground measures 5 inches (12.7 cm) from end to end – a serious guacamological loss.
The first tree drops fruit; this one doesn’t. Since possums are very adept climbers, I suspect this represents an unauthorized harvest.
Which is perhaps the reason I have had little scraps of fence wire hanging on the garage wall for so long. I don’t know if this will work, but the critter will have to navigate points of wire at the top, and the boards should make it difficult to get right next to the trunk. We’ll see.
If you’ve spent time in Uruguay, you may have noticed an abundance of parrots. They are quite charming until you plant fruit trees, and you find them taking a few bites out of each pear or fig.
One person told me that there weren’t always so many. It seems that the rapid increase in eucalyptus and pine planting in the past 30-40 years has given parrots very tall trees for build their nests – above the range of possums, who presumably like parrot chicks and eggs in addition to avocados.