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Crab Apples for the Squirrels?

on August 15, 2012

Runaway squirrel that ate the crab apple.

Two crab apple trees live in our backyard.  Pretty pink flowers adorn the trees for a couple of weeks in spring and fade as the blossoms give way to the fruit.  After that, they revert to an ordinary tree with small fruit on them.

A couple of years ago I made crab apple jelly.  Although the process isn’t difficult, it wasn’t really worth the effort (in my opinion) because I simply didn’t like the taste of it.  As I recall, it was way too sweet.

And if you’ve read any previous posts, you also know that I’m a gardener.  This year, my garden has failed to be productive.  (I only have one tiny green tomato on one plant-and I have five plants).  But my crab apple trees have, once again, supplied a surplus of useless apples.

Before I continue, allow me to explain this to you:  I’ve recently discovered the school of thought that believes we should grow veggies in our front yards.  And that watering a lawn is much wasted water.  (I’ve come to agree with this statement although that isn’t possible here because of a homeowner’s association.)  So back to my original thought.

The crab apple trees, in my mind, are useless (other than the bit of shade they provide in our west-facing backyard.)  I have no use for the fruit and they are aesthetically pleasing  for just  a couple of weeks in spring.  One tree has so many suckers coming out of the ground that I’ve been thinking it’s time for that tree to meet a final resting place.   In short, if the trees aren’t producing an edible fruit, I feel they should be replaced with trees that can perform that duty.

Branch that Little Squirrel sat on consuming delicious crab apple.

It wasn’t until a couple of mornings ago when a rustle of the tree branches caught my attention.  I thought a bird was hidden behind the leaves but after a minute, I realized a squirrel jumped on that branch.  Wondering if could get a picture of him in the tree, I  got my camera and approached the tree slowly.  When I finally got close enough to snap that picture, I found him partaking of the fruit of the tree.  Yes, he was eating a crab apple!  I snapped the picture (but my camera has this annoying delay before taking the picture) and failed to get the awesome picture of this squirrel in the tree eating a crab apple.

I was able to catch the squirrel in motion in a neighbor’s tree so I would always remember the squirrel that ate the crab apple tree and taught me something about nature. I find the tree to be useless.  But God created this tree to bear fruit.  And although the fruit is virtually useless to me, it does serve a purpose and helps feed the little critters lingering around my backyard.

What critters do you find in your backyard?   I’d love to know!!

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