We had been savoring the last few apples still hanging on the trees. The last Rome apple dropped yesterday. The Honey Crisp tree has barely a bucket full still hanging, and the frosts have taken away the crispness yet they are still sweet and juicy. Red delicious apples finished falling off the tree a couple of days ago, the Jonathan apples are also done. The yellow delicious are still crisp and flavorful with only a handful of small sized apples left.
The raccoons have been raiding the last of the apple crop, they are sneaking in at night under the cover of darkness. In the morning we had been finding chewed cores littering the ground beneath the trees. With the apples dwindling, I believe the pesky varmints are trying to move to the barn to steal the cat food that is left over from the evening meal.
I have no proof, but when I went out to the barn this morning the cats were rather frantic and the cat pan was licked clean, and they acted very hungry. Usually when cats eat kibble there are remnants of the consumed meal, they like to nibble throughout the night and early morning and come out to greet me even before I make it all the way out to the barn with sweet cat meows. With the odd behavior and the clean cat pan, all clues point to raccoons.
The cats are now miffed at me for putting a large grain tub over their food pan before I finish the chores in the barn in the evening. Crazy Uncle Boaz stalks me as I leave the house. Frick, Frack, Peg Leg and Fuzzy mob me as I reach to uncover their food. And the four little kittens scamper around under my feet making it hard to walk from one end of the barn to the other to do chores.
Today we will pick the last of the apples off the trees so it will be important to keep the cat food and cow grain locked up tight when it is not meal time to keep the thieves from making the snacks that they have been enjoying into a permanent meal ticket.