We have several apple trees around our home, which last year provided fresh, though somewhat sour, apples into the fall months. We also have a pair of finicky plum trees which so far this year have produced 7 or 8 edible samples, the rest are only fit for the birds and the bees.
We noticed this year that our apples were not producing, or else something was taking them off the trees before they could ripen. We didn’t give this much thought until about a month ago when we had a big thunderstorm. The storm brought high winds which downed a few dozen apples around each of our trees. Gabriel spotted the apples all over the ground by the closest tree to our house, right outside our bedroom window. He wanted to go out and pick them up off the ground (he enjoys taking a bite out of them and then throwing them). I told him he could go out after breakfast the next morning and get them.
When we ventured out the next morning, all the apples were gone. I was amazed that they were eaten that quickly by what I assumed were deer. I lifted Gabriel up to pick some off the tree instead and as I set him down I grabbed him quick before he stepped in a pile of animal poop. Whatever had eaten our apples had also left its mark. I didn’t recognize this particular kind of dropping, however. It definitely wasn’t deer or moose. I considered bear, but thought that was strange so close to our house.
After Tim got home from school I told him about it and we all went on a family outing to scout out the poop. We were perplexed. We even Googled every kind of poo we could think of but could not find a match. Finally we turned to Gabriel and asked what he thought.
“Oh, a kangaroo left that there this morning,” he matter-of-factly stated.
We had a good laugh at that, and from then on kept our eyes open for the apple-eating kangaroo lurking in our backyard. Our “kangaroo” continued to eat our fruit, but very cleverly stayed out of sight.
Now, a month later, we know for sure what is out there. I almost stepped in another pile of poop, and this one I definitely recognized: black bear. We have an green-apple-loving bear who has completely stripped the small apple tree outside of our window. I also saw several piles of, ahem, evidence down by the other tree further down our backyard. We set up a trail camera on our deck in order to catch our thief in action, but I’m afraid we’re too late. He has moved on from this tree; there is no fruit left. We are now trying to figure out how to hook up the trail camera by the other tree.
Due to impending baby Sheppard #2 (due in 3 weeks) I am up at least 4 times a night to use the bathroom. I always look out the window hoping to see our bruin friend. So far, nothing. When we do see our bear, maybe we can ask him what he did with our kangaroo.