A run to the grocer’s
Monday February 17th 2020, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

No rain for weeks, and this is supposed to be the season for it. The long line of flowering pears by the cemetery have been in glorious bloom since the end of January; I have never seen them not wiped out by a good storm or five but not this year.

I imagine the bumper crop of critters from last year’s abundant rain are getting thirsty.

A squirrel managed to pick a large orange off the neighbor’s tree and haul it to the top of the fence but it was really too big to run off with. So he chewed off the top, jack o’lanterning away a lid, and was about to finally reach all that juice inside–when I stopped him.

He tried to run with it, really he did, but it dropped down my side of the fence and he was gone.

I don’t get many squirrels anymore and with my fruit trees I’d like to try to keep it that way. Since our three weeks of being gone in September for the new baby, I’ve only been filling the suet cage where the squirrels can’t reach (and with chili oil in it, they don’t want to.) We actually still had sweet Fuji apples out there when we got home.

So I tend to notice when one comes and why.

I picked up the orange, noted the dirt on the side it fell on and took a whiff. A lot of varieties don’t get enough heat here to really sweeten up.

Man, it smelled wonderful. I wondered what type it was, but looking at that thing, no way should I be touching squirrel-lipped stuff. I hadn’t wanted it to rot in my yard, but. Huh.

I put it under my birdfeeder, hoping the doves would come and peck at the top. No such luck.

Squirrels turn in for the night before sunset.

After dark, I happened to note that it was still there.

I stood up and went in the kitchen a moment.

Came back and there was no sign of it. Gone. That fast. Whatever it was had been watching and waiting for me to leave so it could grab it and run. It’s about a dozen feet to the edge of the shed that something’s been crashing around in every night of late so it wouldn’t have had a long way to go.

Someone’s probably feeding orange juice to their babies tonight.

And I need to refill that suet cage–but I forgot to earlier and I don’t particularly want to walk towards possibly skunks protecting their young. Tomorrow will do.

That was amusing, and I’m not doing it again.

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