We have four tomato plants in a bed near the house, each one surrounded by a Wall o' Water, since summer nighttime temperatures at this elevation often dip into the 40s F (below 10 C).
A couple of days ago, we noticed that one plant finally had two nearly ripe fruit, growing toward the bottom, down in the Wall o' Water enclosure.
Yesterday M. went to check on them. Cursing was heard. Those two tomatoes--and only those two--were gone. Covered by blankets draped over sawhorses, they had survived Tuesday's hail storm, only to vanish in the night.
The green tomatoes were undisturbed.
Our first thought was of bears, since they do traipse through the yard. But reaching down and plucking a tomato without disturbing anything seems almost un-bearlike. They usually smash and grab.
Raccoons? They live down the hill along the creek and could conceivably wander up here. Haven't seen any, though. The dogs usually keep deer away from the house, since they are penned on the veranda until about 10 p.m. when we all go to bed.
If that is not enough mystery for you, Chris Wemmer has photographed a mystery beast in California. He is looking to identify it.
UPDATE 1: Link fixed.
UPDATE 2: A famous professor of medicine once said, in regard to diagnosing disease, that if you hear hoof beats, you should expect horses, not zebras.
After Fisher slurped an entire sliced ripe tomato off the cutting board yesterday when M.'s back was turned, a certain suspicion falls on him.
Means: he is a lanky, supple young dog who could stick his head down into the Wall o' Water.
Motive: He apparently likes tomatoes--although evidence this morning shows that he does not completely digest them.
Opportunity: We can't watch him all the time.