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Friday, July 23, 2010

Squirrel Wars

So I’ve finally gotten a little motivation to take on a few of my garden chores. The temperature has dropped to a mere 90 degrees, and there is even a bit of a, though balmy and thick, somewhat refreshing breeze.

I won’t bother you with the details of the clean up. I did harvest the first of my snow white eggplant yesterday, and the peppers are finally turning color. I also threw a few pumpkin seeds in the ground last week just to see what may be. I’ve had a big problem with powdery mildew this year, so I’m not expecting much.

The big news is what’s been going on while I’ve been cleaning up. This past spring the squirrels had a bumper crop of babies. Well the babies only stay at home for so long, and then it’s time to go. Squirrels are also very territorial. So as the young squirrels leave the nest, they of course would rather find a place that’s move in ready than one that needs to be renovated or dare they have to begin new construction. And so, the war begins.
It can be very entertaining to watch. All of the squirrels get in on the action. They usual leave the largest squirrel to guard the nest, but it can be a challenge when you have three or four juveniles running circles around you. Occasionally they even, if only for a moment, find victory.
But don’t let these cute little rodents fool you. They can be brutal to their enemies. Two years ago I was watching TV late at night when the squabbling, that usually ceases for the evening, started up. I lifted the window to get a better listen and was greeted with the loudest of all squeals and then a loud thud on the ground. I got out my flashlight and took a little walk outside. Lying there in the grass I found the sweetest eyes staring back at me. It really must have known that I was there to help. I went and put on a garden glove and gave it a little nudge. It didn’t move an inch, but continued to stare at me in desperation as I gave it a gentle petting.
I fretted over what to do. I mean it was a squirrel. So I found a bucket and scooped it up. It scrambled a bit, most likely from the pain of being moved. Further inspection revealed a large gash on its side. I had decided to leave the bucket on top of my car, and should the squirrel make it through the night I would see what I could do.
When I woke up the next morning the squirrel and the bucket were gone. On my way to work I found the empty bucket a half a block away.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, so does this mean the squirrel got strong in the middle of the night and ditched both you and the bucket? I am so thankful that I don't have any problems with squirrels. (Knock on wood) There are a few across the ditch from us, but so far, none have ventured over. Gosh, that would be sort of like sailing in the Santa Maria to the New World, squirrel style! Hope you win the war.