“Those Bastards!” I heard Boo hollar from the family room window.
“Those dang squirrels have eaten every bite of the bird seed and are now taunting the Bluejays.”
We stood side by side, noses pressed against the window watching as the squirrely creatures took over the backyard.
“It’s like a gang has taken over ‘the yard’ at Alcatraz. Instead of the Bloods and Crips, it’s the Flying Nuts and the Angry Birds,” I said.
A few years ago our daughter and son-in-law gave us the Yankee Flipper bird feeder, which was our eighth bird feeder in five years. It was pricey, sturdy and guaranteed to keep squirrels away from the bird food. “Guaranteed!”
The Yankee Flipper is designed to spin and flip anything heavier than a bird. I hate to admit it, but we had a blast watching as it spun, and then gently tossed the squirrels into the grass. No squirrels were harmed in the process, but it provided hours of entertainment as we watched our pesky guests become dazed and confused.
Squirrels are a member of the rodent family. They include tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, flying squirrels and prairie dogs. (I always thought a tree squirrel and a ground squirrel were the same thing.) There are red squirrels and black squirrels and our usually brown ones. Who knew there could be so many different species?
What is a squirrel’s purpose in life? I used to think they were so cute, but now they dig up my plants and eat my bird seed. Remember Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies? She was always cooking up a mess of stewed squirrel or roast possum. Sounds like the Keto diet gone amuck. And talk about attitude…squirrels taunt birds and upset the cat with high pitched chirping, squeeks, scraping and barks. They act entitled and indignant all at the same time.
Just for fun I read about having a squirrel for a spirit animal. Who would openly admit this, I wondered? To have a squirrel on your totem pole means you are very resourceful and that you prepare for the present and future. And if you dream about squirrels it means you need to lighten your load of clutter and unnecessary items, and that you need more fun in your life. I tell you this because I know there are still squirrel lovers out there, although the number may be dwindling.
Lest I digress, the Yankee Flipper motor had to be charged occasionally to keep the twirl and flip going. But, as the years have gone by it has lost its ability to juice up.
Our birds love the large feeder but the problem is the squirrels think it is for them, too. I personally have watched as a squirrel hangs between the feeder and the tree, perpendicular to the ground, swinging to and fro until he can make the leap. Sometimes they jump from the tree onto the top of the feeder and shimmy down to the food. I must admit, they are agile little daredevils. When we open the backdoor, they freeze to see who it is. If it’s me, they hang loose and gingerly take their time climbing back up the tree. If it’s Boo, they disappear in a matter of seconds and perch high enough to chatter and backtalk until he goes back in.
“I won’t go down without a fight” Boo saluted. “They have met their match. Remember when we went to Yosemite, and they taught us to clap our hands loud and yell ‘Hey bear’ if we came across a grizzly?”
“Yes, Babe, but….” As I turned to look his way, I saw him in his Ranger hat and filling up a water gun, but it was too late. He was heading out into the back yard.
‘I give up’, I whispered to myself and moved closer to watch what would happen next. Squirrels are nuts, and Boo… is Boo.
All photographs are my own…..obviously