Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm Taking Bets

So, All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day have come and gone. The spiders were removed from the front steps last night. The south one was missing its eyes and not just missing as in they fell off but missing as in they had been yanked off. Did a squirrel not like the omnipresent gaze of a stryofoam spider as he ravaged my pumpkin? I swept off the steps as best I could. It appears they need a washing now; my nicely painted steps! Stupid squirrels. Oh well, it was rather humorous and provided the girls with amusement.

The pumpkins have been moved to the deck. You can see on the one to the left, the squirrels had attempted, in one day, to lay claim to the seedy goodness of pumpkin innards. I'm going to keep tabs on these two. They really are too big to turn into puree.

Jack-o-lantern pumpkins, in case you didn't know, do not have as much meat between the exterior and the interior cavity. They are bred to be more hollow than full so it is easier to carve. You see the gigantic pumpkins that weigh in at over a thousand pounds. They are generally flat on one side because the sheer weight of the pumpkin can't support a round shape. The kind turned into puree you buy from a can have small cores but can't grow to that gigantic size. The larger a pie pumpkin gets, the more stringy the interior flesh becomes. Plus, it's been my experience, that the larger pie pumpkins tend to have a more bitter taste. I'm craving some warm pumpkin bread or muffins right now or the smell of a cooking pumpkin as I make my own puree. Hmmmmm...I need groceries. Maybe a trip to Whole Foods is in order this weekend.

Anyway, I'm going to see how long it takes the squirrels to decimate these two pumpkins. The clock started ticking on Wednesday, as the beasts took bites out of the hulls then. It took them 5 days to chew into the centers of the other pumpkins. Will it take them longer because they are on the more heavily trafficked deck? We'll see.

I was cleaning out the baking shelf in the kitchen last week and found some old cashews and almonds. Unsure about them, I just sprinkled them on the deck. Within 15 minutes, a couple of gray squirrels were arguing over who got what and chasing each other off the deck. The red squirrels were the ones I saw in the front feasting on pumpkin seeds. Is there a territory here? Will I see gray squirrels attacking the pumpkins or don't they care? Will I get red squirrels on the deck? Once the pumpkin's outer layer has been breached, will raccoons attack it? This will be interesting to watch.

This is science, you know, all in the name of science, and watching the cavorting of the backyard squirrels.

Beverage:  Green tea


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