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Saturday, November 23, 2013


I know that the squirrel is the smartest of the gatherers on this planet. I have observed their haughty superiority shown during walnut harvests and bird feeder ownership. Anyone that spent time defending their nuts must know that man/womankind does not meet the furry-rodent’s skill or intellect in the gathering of the harvest off the trees. God meant for us to bend down and pick up the leftovers as the lower phylum that we are.

One fall, I decided to pick up all the nuts I could in a single afternoon. After a back-breaking hour, I noticed nuts squirreled away in drain pipes, notches of the tree, and semi-buried in flower beds. So I gathered those also. Quite proud of my observant skills, I filled my five-gallon bucket and shut it in the garage.
The next morning…at dawn…we were pounded out of our sleep to the sound of walnuts being flung against our new double-paned e-windows.
Paul turned to me and said, “What did you do.”
“Nothing.” But we both knew it was something. The nut flinging continued until I put on a housecoat and went outside to put the nuts back into the drain pipe, notches, and flower beds. Yes, I even toss a few back on the lawn. The rest of Fall went quietly as I picked up only the nuts that landed on the sidewalk in close proximately to our front door.
In the Sacramento house, I have two bird feeders—one for the birds and one for the squirrels. Not that I like feeding the rat-cousins but the squirrels keep Poindexter, my dog, thoroughly entertained. The word “Squirrel” evokes mad dashes about the house, crashes through the doggy door, and patrols of the fence lines. It has been worth the cost of seed.
At the Wild Bird and Feed Store, Citrus Heights, I purchased a metal spring that holds dried ears of corn for squirrels. The spring was cheap and the corn was cheap so I thought this is a good way to feed the squirrels and cut back on bird seed.
Do you see the problem with this logic? I didn’t.
Week 1. Hanged corn spring with Indian corn cob.
Week 2. Found little nibs of corn missing on the husk on one side. Cute.
Week 3. Most of the corn eaten. Replaced the old with a new ear of corn.
Week 4. Spring was on the ground. Cob cleaned off. Only the center of the kernel of corn was removed and pile of the discards now decorated the lawn. I put a new cob in the spring and hanged it off the tree.
Week 5. Spring found in the tan bark. Corn cob was gone. How can one little squirrel carry off a corn cob across a chain link fence in the rain? Put in the spring a new cob and hanged it off a different branch.
Week 6. Spring, cob, and all evidence of corn is gone. It is NOT possible for a one and half pound squirrel to carry an 8” spring with corn cob. Is it? Maybe a possum came in the dead of night. Or a raccoon? I could believe a raccoon.  So I took one corn cob, place it in the vee of the tree, and walk back into the house to change the wash.
Twenty Minutes Later. The corn cob is gone. Can you hear them laughing? Can you? They are mocking me. Those clever gatherers in red fur coats.

“Get ‘em Dex. Squirrel!”