Everyday Adventurer did a feature on Red Squirrels which reminded me of what difficult neighbors they are.
We moved from a very busy urban life to a cabin along a lake to find some peace and quiet. We didn't know that a Red Squirrel already lived there. I was used to them chattering at me when I went for a walk in the forest but knew little else of them or I might have changed my mind.
From the moment spring arrived, the squirrel was present and first light, each morning until sunset at night, everything that moved caused it to chatter angrily. If you went outside, it chattered as loud as it could until you gave up and went back in.
I was determined to live peacefully with the annoying little thing until I put up my first bird feeder. The previous owners had attached the feeder to the clothes line strung across middle of the yard. Turns out this squirrel would take flying leaps off the roof or tree branches until it could land on the feeder. I spent weeks trying to find the exact spot to move this feeder where it couldn't reach.
There was a small 2 foot area it could be hung in that the squirrel couldn't reach but sometimes the wind would blow it out of that safe area. The other problem was if it couldn't reach it, the squirrel just chattered more and more. When it did reach the feeder, it would sit on the roof chattering and attacking any bird that attempted to land. So to resolve the situation, I'd move the feeder so the squirrel could eat, then would refill it and move it away so the birds could eat.
Later, I foolishly planted a garden, which it also claimed. It ate anything that grew above ground. I never got a single pea, bean or strawberry.
It did give me two very special memories though:
1. The neighbor boy discovered her nest full of babies in his attic and brought one over for me to pet before replacing them.. We noticed they were full of fleas (maybe that's why they were so irritable)
2.In the fall, it picked mushrooms and hung them on the tree branches to dry before storing them. At first, I thought my husband had done it as a joke but we watched and when the mushrooms dried, the squirrel gathered them all.
I never knew any animal did that.
For some beautiful photos of Red Squirrels go to Ginny's Blog
Just found a site that sells squirrel proof bird feeders http://bromebirdcare.com/
Cute Squirrel & Tracks , Watercolor Animal Nature by countrymousestudio
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Watercolor Cute Red Squirrel Animal Nature by countrymousestudio
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