There's one missing pepper on the ground a few feet away. A closer look reveals it has been chewed by something. I wouldn't put it past that pesky blue jay to have teeth but then I think it is unlikely he does. It must be a squirrel. What else can get onto a second floor balcony? I built a chicken wire enclosure earlier this spring and I begin to look it over. Yup, I had left a small gap open when I was watering the day before. Was this unknown animal coming by daily to look for an opening? The enclosure has been up for months and I wondered why it didn't lose interest in coming after goodies that were protected?
After much pondering, I came up with one of two theories:
- The squirrels are smarter than I thought and regularly probe my defenses, encouraged by the ripening treasures behind the chicken wire.
- The squirrels are so stupid that they forget the tomatoes and peppers are well protected and keep checking the enclosure regularly and happened to get lucky this once.
A quick internet search reveals that there are a large number of commercial and homemade solutions to the garden pest problems. It's good to know I am not alone. I will ponder my next move and hope I won't have to call in an expert like Carl Spackler.