English: Red squirrel on bird-feeder On the la...

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Squirrels are not on my top ten list of favorite animals. In fact I find myself fairly neutral about them…now. At one time years ago when I maintained an absurd number of  bird feeders in the backyard I found myself engaged in a battle of wits with an exploding population of squirrels. (Time out here for a Monty Python-like image of squirrels running around the backyard literally exploding one by one…)  Hmmm. Guess I’m not quite as neutral as I thought.

The depressing thing is I usually  lost the battle of wits with these little furballs. I kept adding baffles and extenders and all sorts of costly devices to keep them  off the feeders. They kept blithely ignoring my efforts and finding new ways around what was rapidly turning into a scene out of Rube Goldberg‘s world. I almost came to admire their persistence. I realize of course they were driven by the pressures of basic survival. Though maybe it was more than that since eventually I had the fattest squirrels on the block.

The day I found myself greasing the feeder poles with vaseline was the day I realized I had lost the war…and clearly, my mind. I ceded the battlefield.

In the interests of full disclosure, during the height of the squirrel wars, I found an injured baby squirrel who had fallen from its nest onto the street. Worried that the neighborhood cats would get it if I just let nature take its course I took it to a wildlife rehab center where it was treated  and eventually released into the wild. No doubt eventually finding its way back to my yard for its rightful share of the birdseed bounty.

 

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