All Creatures, Great and Small

DSC_0250When we lived in NJ we definitely had a squirrel problem. The large trees in front of our home were springboards for accessing the roofs of our house. From there it was only a matter of time before these squirrels would find a way to infiltrate our home.

One incident involved the third floor bedroom of our son. We were all totally unaware that a critter had entered the room. That is all of us except one diligent cat named Xena (yes, named for the Warrior Princess) had no idea that a little squirrel was hiding out under a bookcase- fearing for its life as Xena sat in waiting for Mr. Squirrel to move. Once we realized what was going on, Xena was politely escorted out of the room and the bedroom window above the porch roof was opened in hopes that the now petrified squirrel would venture back outside. The window was left open all day and I can’t quite recall if the squirrel left while we were out, or if he spent the night. Either way, we were happy to see him go.

DSC_0302During renovations to the third floor to create the aforementioned bedroom,  I also remember the exhuming of squirrel remains. This unfortunate fellow was electrocuted biting into a wire. His jaw was still locked around the wire.  Another squirrel found himself entombed within the walls. Needless to say,  he did not survive and we lived with the smell of death for quite a while. So all in all, our experience with these animals was not always positive. My husband and I have differing opinions on dealing with them. Even now, I find them cute and entertaining.  My husband would like to take out the entire local population, knowing well this is an impossible task since we live surrounded on three sides by wooded areas.  I feel it is better to make sure the possible entry points of our home are secure and won’t allow the ever industrious squirrel an invitation to join us. There are many stories of mice and chipmunk in our present home, but these will be saved for another day. None of them had happy endings.


Red Squirrel with Walnut


Eastern Gray Squirrel with Peanut

Our present day squirrels enjoy the challenge of stealing bird seed from our feeders. We have had success keeping them away by using baffles and feeders that are squirrel proof.  They do  occasionally climb up the posts of the non-baffled feeders, but usually opt for the seeds dispersed to the ground by birds in search of something more tasty. We have the usual Eastern Grey Squirrels, American Red Squirrels and the feisty and fabulous Flying Squirrels.  A nest of Flying Squirrel babies was found in part of the trunk cavity while having a tree removed from our yard. They were frantically transported, one by one, to another tree by the mother squirrel. It was an amazing sight to witness. Living in a rural setting is really a very nice existence, especially for me, who loves all creatures, great and small.


About circuitousjourney

Retired Art Teacher
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