How’s my summer going, you may ask?
Rather nutty at the moment, gasp!
Thanks to the squirrel population at my lake home, I’m spending my spare time warding off the predators instead of feeding the birds.
I arrived home the other day from an overnight at Cape Cod to find my house topsy-turvy inside. Somehow, the squirrels had found it rather inviting to cut a hole in my screen and make their way inside.
First stop, the kitchen. They helped themselves to some red licorice. I mean, the entire package. I also found traces outside, thinking perhaps they shared the candy with their friends or took enough for seconds.
Maybe there was more than one of these bandits at the same time. A half-eaten apple was found on the porch rug. A batch of bananas was left with only the skin. A box of crackers was tampered with, not to mention a sweet bread we had wrapped in tin foil.
Don’t get me started on the bag of nuts I had by the window. Squirrel nuts. They must have taken one look at the package and figured, “How nice! They’re thinking of us all the time. They like squirrels.”
My wife tends to throw tantrums at such home invasions. Good thing she wasn’t around at the time to see the mess. I quickly set to work clearing up the place before a meltdown.
Into the trash went the despoilments as I went around like an octopus collecting the debris. By the number of droppings I could find, I’d say they had themselves a catered affair. The floor needed a wash anyway. Just maybe we had too much junk food lying around.
Lately, I’ve noticed a surplus of these flurry rodents around the yard. They’ve been tampering with my bird feeder. I have one of those “squirrel proof” feeders hanging from the shed. I’ve always been a birder and enjoy seeing them flock to my side.
The cardinals share dinner with the yellow finches and woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees. An occasional blue jay drops by and thinks it’s eminent domain, the way he barges around. The mourning doves just love it. Whatever falls from the feeder is theirs to appreciate.
Until the squirrel competition jets forth.
One day after I filled the feeder, I found it emptied on the ground. There gouging up the seeds were the chipmunks and squirrels. Now it’s turned into a double conspiracy.
I tried again, wiring the feeder to its hanger, only to fail once more. Back to earth it fell and the population had suddenly doubled. So that’s the way they wanted to act. Okay, no refill, guys. I’m running out of patience.
I left it empty for the Cape get-away, only to return home to disaster. Maybe it was their way of retaliating against me for leaving them with no food. How they climbed to a window and nibbled through a screen is beyond me.
They spared me the bedrooms, I’ll give them credit for that. But traces of acorns were also found, making me think that one or two may have brought dinner with them and had a party.
“It’s those damn feeders,” came the harsh word. “Take them away and they’ll disappear. I’m not staying around this camp and becoming attacked by critters, no matter how pleasant the surroundings.”
Hey, I can live with an errant squirrel or a cutesy chipmunk. My cousin was attracting bears upcountry with his feeders. Imagine going out at night to empty the trash and running into a black bear.
The other morning at breakfast, a couple days after my ordeal, I glanced toward the kitchen window and there, sure as life itself, stood a squirrel checking me out. He was on the outside looking in. The damaged screen had been removed for repair when a sudden thought occurred to me.
What if they picked another screened window and gained access again. Naw! But later that morning, I was sitting by the computer overlooking the lake when all of a sudden, another squirrel made his way along a lounging chair and perched himself by that window giving me the eye.
I thumbed my nose at him, only to see a third squirrel off to another window. They had gone into cahoots with one another. I ventured outside to shoo them away when another showed up, joined by reinforcements. They had a couple chipmunks on their side.
What was this, a conspiracy for taking down the bird feeder? I was feeling like a prisoner in my own home. There was no holding them back.
I’ve seen the movies—horror shows like “The Birds” —and read books—like James Patterson’s recent thriller Zoo—where the animals turn against the people.
Could this become a bona fide squirrel assault? Get me a sedative quickly.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West