We have an apple tree in our backyard. Our first year in this house we got zero apples due to a late frost. This year there were so many apples growing I was dreaming of homemade apple sauce, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, apple crisp & apple jam. Little did I know there were others in the hood who had their eyes on our apples also.
At the end of the season (today, as proclaimed by Dave) we picked 35 good apples off the tree, and we think we got maybe 1% of the apples. So, we estimate the rest of the apple harvest was divided as follows:
2% or 70 apples went to "the kids." Brig and his friends liked to pick the apples, throw the apples, roll the apples down the slide, you get the idea. For some reason the hundreds of apples laying in the grass held no appeal. They insisted on doing their own picking.
16% or 420 apples went to worms. So many apples looked nearly perfect from the outside but had that little black spot indicating some creature had inhabited this apple for a time. Argh.
85% or 2975 apples went to the most obnoxious gang in the hood, the squirrels. Have I mentioned how much I hate squirrels? Perched on the highest tree branch they would pick an apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. Pick a new apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. While Brig was playing in the backyard I would pick up the ruined apples and throw them at the squirrels. I never even got close enough to make them flinch. After hucking about 100 apples over the course of the summer it occurred to me my neighbor might not be a big fan of me throwing apples directly into his backyard.
Well, the apples are fantastic. They are crisp, sweet, and organic. I'll be lucky to get 1 apple pie and a few apple slices. Next year I'm going to be a little more defensive about protecting my crop. That's right, some squirrels are going to die.