Sunday, August 7, 2011

Squirrel Wars

7 August, 2011

squirrel.jpg (24846 bytes)It never occurred to me, until about the 1980s, that there were people in the world who never saw squirrels in the wild.

At that time our Brasilian daughter, Sonia, was living with us and I took her to tour Sacramento. We walked the grounds of the state Capitol and suddenly she shrieked "esquilo!" as she looked out over the expanse of lawn and saw lots of squirrels hopping about. Nothing would do but that we go and buy peanuts so she could feed them and she was thrilled that they ate out of her hand. In Brasil, there are no wild squirrels; if you want to see a squirrel, you have to go to a zoo.

squirrelpkc.jpg (30124 bytes)Squirrels were also a big attraction when Peggy was here. Her delight in finding them so accessible in the wild probably equaled mine when I first saw kangaroos lounging on the graves in the cemetery near her house.

No squirrels in the wild in Australia; no kangaroos in the wild in California!

I know that squirrels are supposed to be vermin, disease ridden, cute rat-like creatures. Ask Rosie O'Donnell, who did whole segments on her show about how much she hated the squirrels around her property. My distant cousin, Bill in Houston, spent days trying to find ways to keep the squirrels off of his bird feeders. He hated those squirrels. But I've always found them fun to watch. They've never given me any problem.

squirrelcartoonsm.jpg (51434 bytes)Until the evil squirrel started terrorizing us.

Walt said he thinks it probably started after we returned from China

He would go out into the driveway at night and discover all sorts of branches covering the concrete. At first he thought it must be a breeze blowing them down, but summer is not exactly "breeze time" in the Central Valley.

He would sweep the branches up and in the morning there would be more.

Then one day he saw the squirrel It was high up in the branches of the tree, but it was apparently tearing off these clumps of tree and letting them fall down on the ground.

I wondered if these were squirrels gone bad and if this was the squirrel equivalent of punks t-ping our house.

squirrels-punks.jpg (150351 bytes)

Or is there something more sinister going on?

squirrel-wars.jpg (21143 bytes)

We're not sure how to stop it, but every morning the driveway looks like this

leaves1.jpg  (45888 bytes)

Walt goes out and sweeps it all up.

Leaves2.jpg  (54157 bytes)

An hour later it looks like this.

Leaves3.jpg  (38168 bytes)

And the branches are starting to look like this.

Leaves4.jpg  (46555 bytes)

Maybe I'll re-think that "cute little squirrel" opinion of mine!


squirrelprone.jpg (24571 bytes)

One thing seems clear. The squirrel has laid claim to our
driveway and at the moment, he's winning the battle

(no, the photo was not taken in our driveway--would have been more effective it it had been!)


Mary Z said...

Sounds like John working to keep the squirrels off his bird feeders. I can't wait for subsequent installments in the saga.

phonelady said...

I love squirrels I used to feed them and they would come right up and take food from our hands and they do so in the nature park we visited a while ago . I love squirrels they have never given me a problem .

Harriet said...

Maybe he decided to lay claim while you were in China. He probably thinks you had some nerve, actually returning.