So. The first ripe strawberry of the 2008 season. Here it is.
Or, rather, was.
What on earth happened to my strawberry? What manner of wildlife managed to partially - partially! - consume the lone ripe berry in my strawberry bed? Truthfully, I don't know. Could be slugs. Could be the groundhog that lives under the gardening shed. Or . . .
It could be this guy.
Does it matter? No, and yes. No, it doesn't matter what ate my poor strawberry because what is relevant here is that it wasn't me. And yes, it does matter, because, to be honest, if I had to pick, I'd rather it be this guy munching away in my garden than a goo-dripping gastropod. (Look at those big black eyes. And slugs don't have little cotton-puff tails! Cuuute.)
Now, I'm willing to share, but only to a point. The first - and only! - ripe fruit is a little much to ask, but there's no use crying over a half-gnawed strawberry. And whoever the guilty party is, he's obviously a discriminating fellow, so I have to give him that.
This berry was whole just yesterday, when it bore the first blush of ripeness on its still-green skin. The predator was probably checking it out even then, lying in wait, biding his time till the midmorning sun blushed that berry right up before going in for the kill.
I can relate. Who isn't eager for strawberry season?
But my goodwill extends only to a point. Touch the basil, the parsley, the radishes, my fine furry friend, and all bets are off.