This year crop ripened about two weeks late, due to a pretty unsunny May and a few uncharacteristically hot days thrown in, but there was a decent batch on my trees getting ready to be harvested this week. Last year, LJ friends helped me harvest about 60 pounds, and the year before, Lianne and I alone harvested about 40 pounds. Both years, there were still lots left in the upper branches, which the birds and squirrels took care of.
Yesterday, Nic picked a bowl full of what she could reach, which was probably only a few pounds, and even though the trees weren't nearly as heavy, I estimated there were probably about 20 pounds' worth left within ladder distance.
Tonight, after doing some yard work, I noticed that neither tree has a single cherry left on it.
The little critters that help themselves to the fruit usually sit on a branch and eat the cherry off the pit, which is why in past years the ground around the tree is completely covered with pits. But there are hardly any pits around. Instead, there are a bunch of leaves and some twigs, and higher up in the taller tree, I see signs suggesting someone was climbing around. I think my cherries, or at least a large portion of what was left, were picked by someone else.
I dunno, I hope I'm wrong. But it's incredibly disconcerting if I'm right. It took about a dozen people an hour or two to pick the crop last year, so that would have to mean someone knows my schedule well enough to come over and have enough time to pick the trees clean while I'm gone. Not a very comfortable thought.