We have a 100 year old pear tree in our yard - the hard cooking kind - and it was loaded with pears. I mean three stories high, huge around, could hang a swing from its branches - loaded to the max - must have been thousands of pears. For the past few weeks I've been watching them grow. The ground was covered with them, all having one bite taken out of them, I'm presuming squirrels, and then the deer would come in early evenings and eat some of the ones on the ground. I would usually pick myself one and cut it up to eat. They were really good but not quite ripe so I've been waiting. Called my mom and made plans to have her come and show me how to put up pear preserves; bought a dehydrator with plans on drying some; bought freezer bags with plans on freezing some. Like I said thousands of huge pears. Yesterday I walked over to pick one, as I had the day before and they were GONE. Every last one, gone. Even the half-eaten and rotten ones on ground - gone. What in the world could strip a pear tree like that? I thought squirrels but the pears had to weigh as much as a squirrel and it would be a mountain of pears if stacked on the ground somewhere. It's like they never existed. My DH didn't believe me so I took him to see the tree. It couldn't have been humans. The tree is right near our house and it would require a cherry-picker truck and lift to reach the top of the tree which towers over the two story carriage house. There is not one single pear left on that tree or on the ground. I'm in shock and awe. Anyone have anything like this happen to their fruit trees? We had a huge old plum tree in yard and nothing carried off all of its fruit. We have old oaks with acorns and dozens of pecan trees too so it's not like this was the only food source. I am just stumped. So much for the preserves, drying and freezing. Now I know next year to pick them before it's too late.