Monday, February 25, 2008

Fruit of the Vine

Dave participates in a wine-making group. Most of them are UW scientists who are applying their years of chemistry and biology into a fun hobby. And since we live in a grape growing region with new wineries springing up every few minutes, making wine is a part of our Pacific Northwest culture. All of these scientists, including my husband, are concerned about enviromental impacts particularly since global climate change is a major concern.

Yesterday, they got together to "rack" the wine from last fall's harvest at our friend's house in Seattle in whose basement the wine-making occurs. The waste or residual grape mash is spread outside around bushes and trees for compost. Naturally, this is the "green" Seattle thing to do. One squirrel apparently observed the wine residue being spread around his little squirrel house and could not believe his good fortune.

It wasn't long before the scientists noticed they had possibly killed a squirrel with too much of a good thing. But no. After his feast of glorious purple treasure, Seattle Squirrel took himself a little nap nose first in the buffet. Eventually, he came to and stumbled home with excuses to Mrs. Squirrel. Wouldn't you like to hear that conversation?

"Look at you! Your face.....is PURPLE. You can barely walk and you smell....like...like...compost. What is the matter with you?"

"Ah, not a thing. You won't believe this but remember the scene in Wizard of Oz where they found a field of poppies....?"

"Oh, sure. Right. Go wash yourself off in the rain gutter."

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Let's just hope Mr. Seattle Squirrel doesn't share his secret with all of the other critters in the neighborhood. It might put a wrinkle in things if the EPA shows up requiring the wine-maker scientists to file an Environmental Impact Statement.