No worries. There are plenty to waste. For them, at least. For me, it seems that every single piece of fruit on the tree is too underripe to be picked, though every piece on the ground looks just perfect, except for being half-eaten.
Sometimes, as I head off to the farmer's market on Saturday mornings to buy fruit, I can swear I hear the distinct sound of squirrel laughter.
But this year, things were going to be different. I came across an online Q&A in which a woman asked how to keep birds away from her fruit trees. The answer: bird netting, which carries the added bonus of catching the fruit before it hits the ground and bruises.
Thirty minutes and sixteen dollars later, I was on a ladder, broomstick in hand, trying to spread a relatively small square of net over the top of a 15-foot tree. Not the least of my problems was the fact that the bird netting (which probably contains about 40 cents' worth of plastic) snags on every branch or leaf it touches, making it impossible to spread out.
By the time the cops showed up at to the house (apparently, the teacher at the kindergarten across the street doesn't listen to enough rap music to explain some of the new vocabulary words the children were overhearing), I revised my plan. I decided to wrap the net around just a select few, fruity branches.
It was a pain, but it paid off when, the next morning, I walked out the door and saw, hanging neatly in the net, my first piece of tree-ripened fruit. Triumphant to the point of giddiness, I rushed to the tree to reap the fruits of my labor.
That's when I saw that the apricot hanging in the net was in fact just half an apricot, the other half eaten away by either a ghost squirrel, or perhaps one with an engineering degree.
That's why today I'm so bitter and disillusioned that I can say that I could care less about apricots. And I don't even care that it would be much, much better to say, "I could not care less."