Sunday, November 4, 2012

Squirrelus Stupidus

The younger daughter was chatting with her dad via Facetime on the iPad this afternoon when she saw one of our local foxes out of the kitchen windows and called me over for a look.  They really are pretty creatures with their orange-red coats and fluffy tails.  Ollie is a strawberry blonde colored Cairn Terrier that looks a bit foxy sometimes.  The fox we spied was trotting across the front drive with a dead squirrel in its mouth.  I'm thinking the squirrel's arrogance led to his demise.  

Yesterday the weather was picture perfect sunshine, but we are obviously in early November since most of our trees are stripped bare or somewhere in the process of losing all of their leaves.  In particular, a unique red leafed tree in the backyard is now nude.  And since that allows us to see the two bird feeders hanging amongst the barren branches, I decided it was time to start providing seed for our local feathered friends.

I filled up both feeders and the new buffet was quickly discovered by our local critters.  As always, the squirrels assumed I put out this bounty especially for them.  I counted up to five of the little furry buttheads out there gobbling up the seed on the ground, even trying to chase away the magpies that also dropped in for a bite to eat.  

An irritating fact about our local squirrels is that they're more or less immune to us and the dog.  Ever since we moved into this house, we've been feeding the birds and fending off the squirrels.  Before we got Ollie last November, the younger daughter would open up a family room window and do her best faux bark at the squirrel(s) raiding the feeder, trying to scare them away.  It worked for about two weeks and then they just started ignoring it.  Now that we have terrier patrol, we merely turn the dog loose.  The trick is that Ollie isn't particularly bright and commences with a stream of barking, half cry and half yodel, before the patio door is even open.  And thus the squirrels know he's headed their way and wait until the last minute to scurry up the nearest tree.  

I'm thinking the fox, with his stealthy moves, was able to sneak up on one of the snarky little fur balls hoovering up bird seed before it could make an escape.  And that rodent arrogance is what led to the squirrel, aka rat in a cuter set of clothes, becoming the fox's afternoon snack.  I can only hope the fox will return for another easy meal or three and save Ollie from getting another smack for getting onto the back of the couch to watch the seed thieves gleefully cavort all over the backyard without fear of reprisal.

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