Archive for the ‘gray squirrels’ Tag

03-30-2018 My Wildlife Welfare System   Leave a comment

Being a lifelong animal lover has it’s ups and downs and living here in Maine makes things even more interesting.  With the harsh winters and constant snow cover the wildlife here has become quite  deligent in their hunt for food. I’ve been a loyal bird feeder for most of my life because I really enjoy having the birds around.  My better-half is also a bird lover and we currently have six feeders we keep filled.  I estimate the birds are eating close to 125 lbs. of feed a year  not counting the many packages of suet we purchase to keep the woodpeckers healthy and happy. Add to that two or three quarts of sugar syrup for the hummingbirds and you begin to truly understand.

It became apparent some months ago that the birds living in this area have a rather accomplished communication system to spread the news concerning food sources and the location of predators. This came to my attention when a herd of wild turkeys showed up out of nowhere and began feeding from the food accidently dropped from our hanging feeders.  Needless to say my better-half was quick to buy more corn and began strewing it everywhere. That’s all they needed to make our home the number one spot on their regular feeding rotation. With the heavy snow cover this winter they needed to do something inventive to help them survive the winter.  Thus began the feeding of a another new group of dependents that I couldn’t claim on my taxes. As always I just went along thinking that would be the last of the additions to our extended family of two hundred or so really hungry birds.  I was sadly mistaken once again.

Last year I erected a squirrel feeder on a nearby tree hoping it might convince the little buggers to stay away from the bird feeders. Once again, no good deed goes unpunished. We found out very quickly that turkeys and the occasional deer are also fond of corn.  So began the battle for the corn that lasted most of the summer and into the winter. My better-half still insists on bringing home an endless supply of corn to keep the battle going.  I left one of the bags sitting in the basement and hoped she would forget about it.  She forgot for a time but the field mice did not.  They like corn too and we soon found ourselves overrun with mice. Since the untimely demise of my lifelong best friend, my cat Stormy it’s been difficult to keep them under control.  He died a year ago and the mice discovered his absence rather quickly.  A new war was a brew’n.

A quick visit to Lowes supplied me with an armload of mouse traps and a determination to keep the mice out of our home.  I did discover that putting cheese in a mousetrap is a waste of time.  At first the mice were able to pull the cheese from the trap without harming themselves.  After some research I discovered that JIFF creamy peanut butter really gets the job done.  I’ve peeled 13 little corpses off those traps so far and I hope there will be many more to come. I toss their little corpses out onto the snow bank in the backyard where the crows and coyotes fight over the free meal.  At least with the mice I only have to feed them once.

I wish that was the end of this sad story but no such luck.  Next on my list is a large group of industrious little chipmunks who have quite a nice residence under our home.  My father always told me if you see one chipmunk you probable have at least ten. If that’s true then we may have upwards of a hundred roaming around. Oh yeah, they also love corn and bird seed just like damn near everyone else. It’s a little more difficult for them because they’re so small and the birds are constantly chasing them away.

I’ll begin working in our garden within the next few weeks and “Job 1” is to be certain that the fences are intact.  All these little varmints, birds, deer, and skunks are just waiting for me to make a mistake and then my garden will be trashed.  Don’t even get me started about that big fat skunk that patrols our property looking for trouble.  If he was any bigger I could just ride him around  like a horse.

So begins another summer here in Maine.  It should be interesting.

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08-06-2016 Journal Entry – The 2016 Squirrel Wars!   Leave a comment

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I’m a little late in posting today due in part to visiting family from Maryland.  All of us have been kept rather busy for a few days which makes posting this blog more difficult.  Things remain much of the same around here. I take care of the garden, cut what grass that hasn’t been burned away by the heat and lack of rain, and of course . . . PRAY FOR RAIN.

I’m also in the midst of a battle with a community of squirrels (both gray and red) that have a special love for our house and our bird feeders.  A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in our second floor living room doing some work on my laptop. The living room is directly adjacent to a porch that leads onto a second story deck.  I had the door to the deck open so the stupid cat could lounge around outside which in hindsight was my first big mistake.

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I was completely focused on the computer  but  noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and sitting in the middle of the living room was a red squirrel calmly watching me.  Apparently a string of loud curse words are the perfect squirrel repellent I’ve been looking for.  He made a dash for the door and onto the deck and dove straight into the nearby trees.  Where was my ferocious cat?  He was asleep on the chair not three feet from the damn squirrel. He barely blinked an eye as I was screaming at it.  He’ll pay for his total lack of interest in the very near future.

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The very next day I heard a noise on the porch and that same little red squirrel was in the process of chewing through a bag of bird seed. Again he escaped but just barely.  He sat in a nearby tree chittering at me until I shot him in the ass with a B-B gun.  I hate killing them but I will certainly take every opportunity to give him a bruise or two with that B-B gun.

Soooooooo! Today I was once again alone in the house working in the living room. I was really concentrating on my project and jumped nearly three feet in the air due to a loud crash on the porch. I ran over to investigate and found a big fat gray squirrel sitting next to an overturned container of bird seed. He saw me and very calmly walked out onto the deck and split.  I may be a little slow on the uptake but I’m reasonably certain the word is out in the squirrel community that I have food on my porch.

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Tomorrow I will begin taking steps to address these issues but I’m not optimistic.  I’ve been involved in two other squirrel wars at other places I’ve lived and sadly lost them both.

I’M  HOPING FOR THE BEST AND EXPECTING THE WORST

05-16-2015 Journal– Squirrel Peace Treaty!   Leave a comment

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I’m happy to announce that a peace treaty has been reached in my eight year struggle with the squirrels.  Every place I’ve lived and gardened over the years I’ve been forced to deal with those little delinquents who insist on driving me insane.  I’ve tried just about everything but I’ve never gotten the upper hand. 

Seven years ago we were inundated with a population surge of red squirrels. They’re much more aggressive than the grays and caused a great deal of damage to my deck and feeders.  I spent some money for ammunition and was able to thin the herd a little.  After tons of research and the expenditure of more money than I care to think about, I found feeders the little bastards couldn’t get into.  They continued to visit my deck and tried over and over again to piss me off without much success.

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One side of our property faces a wooded area where gray squirrels dominate and on the other side of the property the trees are filled with reds.  I was beginning to feel overrun like the last guy at the Alamo.  I hated shooting them so I continued  looking for a way to make peace.

Earlier this year I decided to try misdirection on them by installing a squirrel feeder behind the house.  It’s easily in reach by both factions but it also keeps all of them away from my house and deck.  Now they can battle amongst themselves for the food I supply and I get to sit back and watch the fun.

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Finally I have a little piece of mind.  I had to buy the feeder and the corn to put in it but I can live with that. As you can see from these photos these little guys have no fear of humans, especially this human.  I walked around taking these photo’s and he never blinked an eye.

His new routine begins every morning around 7:30 am.  He shows up for his breakfast and then climbs back into the trees.  I’ve made peace with the reds but the grays have yet to attempt a visit to the new feeder.  The war will continue between them but for a change I won’t be stuck in the middle.  It’s worth every penny.