August 21, 2009

A Mysterious Disappearance of Tomatoes

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.


Anonymous said...

Tomatoes. Cold nights. Total suckage.

I have lots of very pretty, very hard, green tomatoes. With 50 degree nights and *barely* 70 degree days - they have little motivation to ripen.

I need to see if the Mennonite folks who built my chicken coop will give me a deal on a greenhouse...

SmartDogs (currently in OpenID purgatory)

Chas S. Clifton said...

Last year we put two plants in tubs that could be moved into our little greenhouse. We should have done it this year. But usually we have ripe tomatoes by the end of August...

Holly Heyser said...

One day last year, Hank told me his very best fennel bulb was missing from the garden.

"Did you pick it?" he asked.

Me? Hell no. That would suggest I planned to actually cook with it.

After that, though, we did notice our Italian neighbor - who had admired that very fennel bulb - was being especially solicitous, bringing over lots of fruit and such.

I'm just sayin'...

Chas S. Clifton said...


See my update #2.

Holly Heyser said...

Well, I'm sorry to hear about the evidence this morning, but it sounds like you've found your culprit...