Closer to Home: Close Encounters of the Squirrel Kind

Among our many other projects, the other half and I like to cultivate several flower pots that alternate tulips with annuals. Somehow, our tulips wound up getting strewn about the back porch, and holes were dug down around our hostas. I wasn’t so protective of the flowers, but the hostas were special (Unrelatedly, they froze in the late spring frost this year. Boo.).

Obviously, we suspected squirrels or feral cats, so we put up a close watch when we were home to see if we could catch the culprit. Finally, we caught this dude digging hurriedly around the porch:

He was so excited about burying his swag that he didn’t even pay attention when we opened the window to take a picture of him. Only after we giggled about his obliviousness did he jump on the fence.

At which point he stared at us for about ten minutes before deciding to retreat to the roof for further plotting.

Who is this daring rascal, you ask? Well, I don’t take names, but he is a fox squirrel. They’re very common in most areas of the midwestern and eastern United States, and they used to be kept as pets by many people (including my father). They’re very vocal; maybe someday when I feel like posting pictures with people in them, I’ll post the one the other half took of me getting barked at by a juvenile. It was trying to scare another squirrel out of an oak with some nice acorns, then noticed me staring at it and ran down the tree trunk to bark at me instead. Pretty hilarious, if you ask me.

Random: Speaking of barking, every time that I see squirrels anymore, I think of Dug from the movie Up!.

Fun fact: Squirrels can live up to 20 years as pets, but most don’t even reach adulthood in the wild. Well, that wasn’t necessarily a fun fact, but it’s very interesting that people can make such a difference when they want to (not that I’m encouraging keeping wildlife as pets, and, well, you know the standard lecture).

If only people put as much effort towards helping with things like poverty, starvation, and sustainable environmental practices as they do toward keeping their pets alive, think of how much difference we could make…

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