Jun 25, 2009

And So It Begins . . .

We've gone from wondering if summer will ever get here to complaining about the heat. And it seems like it happened almost over night. People are firing up the air conditioners and dusting off their fans. Gardens are starting to actually need watering.

Check the time stamp on this. Yes, I'm composing this in class. Or rather on a break from class. I feel downright naughty!

Now I have a little story to tell you which may, or may not, have a sad ending.

On the weekend I noticed a cute little chipmunk skittering around the fence near our patio. Chipmunks are cute and are more than welcome in our yard. The only thing I had to feed him with were salted peanuts, so I rinsed the salt off of them and left him a handful near where I saw him lurking.

Despite the fact that this spot was between the two planters the daughter and her fiance were working on, the peanuts slowly but surely disappeared. A couple of days later I bought some healthier peanuts for him - the ones still in the shell and I've been leaving them out for him ever since.

I don't know whether he's been getting them or not, but they've been disappearing, so someone's been benefiting. Maybe it's one of the numerous blue jays hanging around.

Fast forward to last night. I went outside to leave a handful of peanuts in the usual spot and sweep away the shells from the day before, and I hear a banging from the back of the yard. WTF?

There is my next door neighbor, banging on a tree with a shovel and cursing up a storm. Apparently the squirrels had raided her garden and she was declaring war on them. I don't know what good banging the chestnut tree was supposed to do, but this was one angry woman.

Whist banging and cursing, she told me about the raids on her garden, and how her husband had trapped a couple of squirrels, an unusually large mole, a chipmunk, and a blue jay. He let the jay go, but the squirrels (one of which was just a baby apparently) and the chipmunk were disposed of (I'm not sure what happened to the mole, but I suspect the worst). I'm hoping he just took the squirrels and chipmunk for a long drive in the country instead of something more nefarious, but at this point I figured it was better not to ask.

By this time her arms had become tired so she'd stopped with the banging, and although we couldn't see anything up in the trees, something was pelting her with the just developing chestnuts. Never threw anything at me though. :-)

I say, go squirrels! Get that crazy woman. I just hope the chipmunk they disposed of wasn't my little patio friend. I guess only time will tell.


Jamie D. said...

Well that's just downright rude! Poor little guys...amazing that there are people out there who don't appreciate wildlife hanging in the yard. We have bunnies, squirrels, and lots of birds. Sadly, one of my dogs has a tendency to catch/eat the birds, so I'm considering getting her bells for her collar. The other critters run fast enough, thank goodness (and hang in our garden area, which is fenced off from the dogs).

One of our neighbors even plants extra seeds in his garden for the bunnies, and sunflowers to leave for the birds in winter (which we'll start doing soon). Bunnies eat on the gardens, we just fence what we can't stand to lose (or replant).

I hope your neighbor learns to appreciate *all* of the nature around her, not just what she plants...

(reading, replying to your post from work...naughty!)

C R Ward said...

LOL about your dog, Jamie. One of my neighbors had a beagle/dachshund cross that ate her budgies.

This year, in addition to the grey and black squirrels, we have a red squirrel with a couple of babies. Cutest little things in the world! I just hope they're smarted than the ones that got caught!