Turning tail on it
Friday June 12th 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Knit,Wildlife

imgp7780Yesterday a small scruffy-tailed gray squirrel started eyeing my birdfeeder with a determination he’d not shown before.  So did a black squirrel, but it quickly decided the thing was not in range and not worth the effort.

That gray one, though, started stalking it. It approached it from every possible angle for hours, amusing me just on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling glass, including climbing the man-eating plant with the prickly trunk that in 22 years I have never, ever seen a squirrel on before.  But it was eight feet away and far too low. Forget that one.

It tried going down from the awning. No go.  It climbed the ladder to the left: that was the right height and straight across, but it was a good ten or twelve feet away.  Hmm. It laid there on the ladder, lifting its head every now and then, judging the distance, willing the birdseed to move closer by the power of its little mind.  The feeder stayed obstinately put.

imgp7779I glanced over: the thing had climbed the near pole, four feet away, took a flying leap right through the twiggy branch I’d hung that was nowhere near strong enough to support it, and had lucked out and landed on the feeder, which went swinging wildly. The squirrel had a panic attack.  I was coming with the camera.  The dang seed wouldn’t come out! Frantic frantic panic panic GIMME THE FOOD! as I approached, trying at the last second to pull the top off with its teeth.

I reached for the door handle for a better shot and it was just too much. There was no way it could jump back to that pole.  Caught.  A surge of adrenalin and it managed to leap up from the top via that string it hadn’t found a way down from earlier, up onto the awning, and away.

It never came back.  Neither did the black squirrel.

Round one to the feeder.

(As I knit away on Dianne’s Caribbean colorway seacell/silk from Creatively Dyed Yarns… Gotta throw in a little knitting content occasionally or I hear about it.)

9 Comments so far
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The antics of the squirrel remind me somewhat of my own cockatiel Pepper, who is clipped. But, boy, can she climb!

I’m also reminded of a talk I attended many years ago, where the topic was intelligence. “How can it be,” asked the speaker, “that humans are so much smarter than other mammals?” The answer, it turns out, is that we aren’t! That squirrel is an example.

Human humor:
Old Mother Hubbard, went to the cupboard
To get her poor daughter a dress.
But when she got there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so was her daughter, I guess.

Q: Why do some sausages have meat at one end and corn meal at the other?
A: Because it is hard to make both ends meat. 
Q: Which game did the cat want to play with the mouse?
A: Catch!
 Q:  Why should you walk carefully when it’s raining cats and dogs?
A:  You might step in a poodle! 

Comment by Don Meyer 06.12.09 @ 7:53 pm

Nifty, I’d like to have seen that for myself. Where I live I rarely see squirrels and never a black one.

Oh, you’re a knitter? Cool. 😉

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 06.13.09 @ 5:03 am

To paraphrase Indiana Jones “Squirrels! I hate squirrels! Why did it have to be squirrels?” They did incredible damage to our previous house. There are no squirrels in our new neighborhood, and no big oak trees to entice them.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 06.13.09 @ 5:18 am

My bird feeder hangs on a metal plant hanger about 6 ft. from anything. No squirrel has ever managed to get to it. they can’t climb the metal, I guess. Loved this post. Hope you’re feeling better and not just distracting us with birds and squirrels?

Comment by Judy Foldi 06.13.09 @ 7:04 am

We enjoy watching the squirrels trying to figure out the baffles under the bird feeders. The established rodents just stay on the ground and feed on seed droppings, but every once in a while a new squirrel comes to the neighborhood and the comedy show begins!

Comment by Leslie 06.13.09 @ 7:46 am

Do you remember Dad’s ongoing efforts to find a sqirrel-proof bird feeder? We had at least six squirrels on the property, in the woods, (at least that was the biggest number we saw all at the same time), and we saw firsthand how tenacious and inventive they were at reaching that birdseed. Every type he bought failed to keep them out for long. Then he hit on his own idea, and nailed a saucer sled to the top of the pole, and the feeder on top of that at the center. There wasn’t anything else close enough to jump over from to the feeder, the curve of the sled was too much for them. Ta dah! success. Until one squirrel refused to acknowledge that it was an impossible task and attacked and attacked, and we finally watched it do the impossible: it gripped its way from under the curvature, over the lip, and leapt to easy pickings. It so defied the laws of physics and physiology as we watched, that Dad was amusedly dumbfounded and allowed as that particular critter desrved applause. I don’t remember if we just let it go, that we had one varmint that we couldn’t keep out, or if we further modified the setup, successfully or not. I just remember that spectacle.

Comment by marian stoddard 06.13.09 @ 8:45 am

I have been trying to out smart squirrels for years!
My squirrels always win !

Comment by susan 06.13.09 @ 8:55 am

In light of the bird postings lately, this cat person directs you here.

Comment by Leslie 06.13.09 @ 5:02 pm

Sissy and Gretchen would like to come visit and help you with your problem…

Comment by Channon 06.14.09 @ 6:57 am

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