The mild spring this year led to an early cherry season. The tree was at peak bloom in late March, approximately 2-3 weeks earlier than normal. That schedule carried forward and by mid-May the cherries were beginning to turn red. As usual, this also attracted the attention of the deer and raccoons for their annual pillage of the tree. Unfortunately they were so thorough and so early in their pillaging that picking all the unripe cherries that could be reached the next day only yielded about 10 quarts of cherries barely capable of being eaten without cooking and adding extra sugar.
This was the first year I have used camera traps to try to capture the animals in action. While I did get some pictures, it turned out that I should have changed the batteries in the one I had aimed at the tree because it didn’t have enough to fire the infrared flash… so I missed the nightly activity I was trying to capture. Once I changed batteries I put the camera back out and managed to get a shot of at least one raccoon coming back to pick up the cherries that had been missed.
Were it not for the raccoons and deer this could have been an excellent season as there were no issues with disease or rot of any nature and the tree was well loaded. With the losses, however, it became a large amount of work for a fairly meager harvest.