It was a late spring in Tokyo but an early one at Rurikia this year, and the latest report from the orchyard is that the cherries are starting to turn from yellow to red, usually an indication that they are a week or two from being ripe. That was the good part of the report. The bad part was that the raccoons have already begun their annual rampage marked by a debris field of unripe cherries, leaves, and broken twigs and fruiting spurs. In addition to the highly inappropriate tokens of their post-rampage tummy aches, as if it wasn’t bad enough that they stole the cherries and then broke off where they would grow from next year.
I do hate raccoons. I keep hoping that the less damaging foxes and coyotes will run them off, but so far no luck. The foxes eat the swiss chard, the raccoons eat the cherries, and the deer eat everything else… including the apple trees.
Thinking of cherries, a quick market report from Tokyo: The first batch of this season’s US crop has reached my local grocery store, and you can buy a box of 24 “perfect” cherries with each in it’s own divided space for the bargain price of 1480 Yen (roughly 80 cents per cherry at the current exchange rate). A package roughly equivalent to a US dry pint of “not-quite-perfect” cherries runs around 500 Yen.