The Avocado Thief

Avocado tree

Avocado tree

023 - CopyBehold an avocado tree. A tree, I admit, that demonstrates a case of allowing a twin trunk to develop though I am told that is permitted with avocados. It is a tree which has had the best ever crop of Hass avocados this year. It has truly been a mast year. We are a bit marginal when it comes to avocados and they tend to crop biennially. There is no crop next year so we are making hay (or guacamole, to be precise) while the winter sun shines.


Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit A is the pile of avocado pits around the place. These tell us that we are not alone in harvesting the crop. In fact given the predations of waxeyes, starlings, blackbirds, rats and possums, it is a miracle that we still collect fruit by the bucket load. Possums are a major pest in this country and Mark and the dogs do a round each evening checking for them. Mark conducts an autopsy on the stomach contents of each possum he shoots – mostly to check who is eating the buds of the magnolia trees at this time of the year – and noted last week that one appeared to be full of guacamole.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

But exhibit B fingered another avocado thief. None of the aforementioned raiders stashes partially eaten fruit all round the place. We had noticed that new dog Dudley was looking particularly glossy and plump. The natural avocado oils are clearly kind to his fur. Mark has taken to doing a circuit twice a day to pick up whole fruit that has fallen in an attempt to beat Dudley to the draw but any time the dog disappears from view, it is a fair bet that he can be found near the avocado tree.

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Dudley is a four year old fox terrier, surrendered by his previous owner to the SPCA for re-homing. He came to us in January – clearly a well-loved townie dog used to being fed tidbits any time his previous owner was eating, allowed on any furniture and accustomed to sleeping in his owner’s bed. He was a little timid at the space here and confused by the changes in rules. But now he has taken on the role of estate dog as though he were to the manner born. He is a whizz on rats, a keen possum dog, happy to assist with moving the four beefies that comprise Mark’s little cattle herd, patrols the boundary to ensure that Sam the neighbour’s dog does not make incursions and  he is more than happy to deal to the perceived surplus of avocados.


To the manner born

To the manner born

2 thoughts on “The Avocado Thief

  1. zneto

    Hi Abby,

    Dudley the “avocado thief” has given us an idea. Rusty our Jack Russell/Bichon Frise cross, has a chronic allergic rash – worse during grass flowering season. Perhaps a regular avocado oil drench might help his itch.

    Could you please tell your readers they should remove the seed heads from their Arum Lilies Zantedeschia aethiopica before they mature.

    We have a heavily treed half acre section and birds have been dropping seeds from neighbours’ arums all around our 45 year old Liquidambar and all six Jury Magnolias. We now have a mat of lilies amongst the tree roots.

    We reluctantly hired a registered weedspraying contractor but all he achieved was to kill a mature Rhododendron and some choice non invasive hybrid arums. The nasty lilies came back and enjoyed the extra freed up space.

    It was nice to read in an earlier post that Mark removes the palm seed heads. I wish my neighbours would do that. Our place would look like an oasis fit for a herd of camels if I hadn’t removed the hundreds of palm seedlings that have been popping up around the place.

    Barry _________________________________

    Barry L Marx P O Box 209 Otorohanga 3940 New Zealand

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    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      These terriers and terrier crosses seem to have a tendency to eczema. Dudley came to us with instructions that he was to have a fish oil capsule squeezed over his food each day. I dutifully did this until we finished the bottle of fish oil capsules. Then I started to substitute a dash of cooking oil instead. Now I just rely on natural avocado oil and his efforts at self medicating and he is not showing signs of dry or irritated skin. Friends with a Jack Russell that suffered badly changed her diet on the vet’s recommendation and the problem went away.

      Arum lilies? Should be removed entirely. Check your regional council and see if they are on the banned list in your area. Naturally, I have written about this before…
      Kind regards, Abbie

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