There’s a ten foot ficus tree on my patio, obtained from a neighbor who’s long since moved away. The planter its grown in is really quite large, in fact, large enough to accommodate smaller pots of herbs and lavender, placed around the slender tree trunk, including the happy, healthy potted strawberry plant pictured below.
Some time ago I discovered that a small creature had burrowed into the planter of this ficus tree. Not that its an entirely outstanding situation in itself its just that the tree is potted and not planted directly in the ground. There’s a whole lot of tree root action down there, leaving little room for extensive tunnels, but hey, everyone needs a roof over their head so I let it be.
Only twice did I see the little varmint in the early morning hours and am pretty convinced it was an average California mole. The opening to its burrow was located just beneath the strawberry pot, facilitating it’s covert operations whenever the hoomans were absent. No doubt this little creature was hungry, I don’t fault her for that, but she would pick a perfect berry only to leave it in the base of the ficus tree completely untouched. With only three little plants, none being huge crop producers, each berry was at a premium. It was disturbing to see wasted something I’d anticipated. And of course there was NO WAY I was going to eat a vermin-tainted berry even at its peak of perfection. Instead I imagined that Miss Mole had some sort of amnesia or a 50 First Dates syndrome that prevented her from remembering that she didn’t actually enjoy strawberries other than the picking part.
It took relocating the berry pot to an undisclosed location (about 5 feet away) to resolve the issue. That and I do believe that Miss Mole has moved to greener pastures.
This morning the berries are thriving, sweeter than ever, and I am the only one doing the picking . . . as far as I can tell.
“If you have things your neighbor doesn’t have, share them, because he or she has a right to the part of the world over which God has made you a temporary steward.“
Thomas Kellar, “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life”