Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ANIMAL ACTIVIST



I am at war with a squirrel! We have an upper deck on the side of the house that is surrounded by live oak trees. Southerners call them water oaks because the grow near the ocean. They look nothing like the traditional oak trees that grow in the north. The leaf is entirely different, as are the branches, etc. But they do drop a million little acorns in the spring. I had heard of live oaks in books and never really understood what that meant. Strange name. Live oak as opposed to dead oak? That was the question that always entered my mind. But no, it's a different variety. The branches spread way out from the trunk and sway easily in the wind, or perchance, hurricane. And our trees are filled with squirrels!
I used to think squirrels were these cute little guys who pranced merrily around in trees chasing each other. Playful, carefree. Now I see vermin waiting to destroy when they think we are not looking. They chew like new puppies. In the past they have found their way into our attic, in the eaves of the house, and under the floor of our deck. We have trapped and released quite a few. My husband always drives them across the Lesner Bridge and figures they won't cross the bridge and come back. Recently someone told us of a man who lives over there and traps them, then releases them on our side of the bridge. Great! They DO cross the bridge!
Our latest bold little adversary jumps out of the trees onto the deck and looks for trouble. Recently I caught him chewing holes in the nice, expensive cover that I bought for our gas grill. Why would he do that? Is he one of the squirrels that returned with a vengeance? Yesterday I chased him off the deck and then watched as he came back four times to taunt me. He jumped on the deck in the same spot each time, did a little dance, then raced down to the far end and flew into the trees. He is laughing at me. I am beginning to identify with Elmer Fudd and his war with the Waskely Wabbit. I'm not happy about this.
I am now going to stand guard over my premium vinyl grill cover. This must end. He may be younger and quicker, but I am older and I have more insurance! He better hope I don't meet him on the street!


55 comments:

Kathie said...

I hate them too!
we had a new roof put on last year and seems to have helped the problem we had just before that with thme getting into the attic.
that was a nightmare!

I no longer feed the birds cause the squirrels were eating more of it than the birds.
I stopped last year and have to say this winter I see less squirrels in our yard.
I sure hope you win the battle
Kathie

Paula said...

They are cute...until! Until they get in your attic and run around at all hours of the day and NIGHT! We've got one in the attic right now that is making us batty!

Who would have thought that they cross the bridge!!!!! LOL!!!!

Karen said...

What a story, Marcie. And to think of them being ferried back and forth across that river! You'd think they feel bad that nobody wants them but somehow I don't think they give a rip. I finally had one tree trimmed back away from my roof that was a major avenue for both squirrels and tree rats (but it's grown back now and there are huge other ones that are too expensive to trim anyway) and when they realized they couldn't get on to the roof that way, one absolutely gave me h**l when I drove up and got out of my car. He was screaming at me! I stood there because I was curious about how long he would carry on and I got tired of it before he did! He was still shrieking as I went into my house. Yish.

swooze said...

I think that is the same guy high fiving his buddy when that car drove off the road in the insurance commercial!

Becky said...

My son sits on the back porch and tries to knock our squirrels off with discs (disc golfing frisbees). I prefer a good quality automatic weapon (high powered water gun). Either way, we manage to make a few of them mad. But we live in the woods so there are always plenty more.

Good luck. How are you with a frisbee???

Lindah said...

Squirrel traders???! lol I can so empathize with your squirrel problems. The oak tree with all of its cousins from scrubby to magnificent are native to northern California. They are protected. Not the squirrels that live in them. But you can't use even a pellet gun in the city limits. The little critters transported down the road find their way back. And who has time to play squirrel taxi anyway! Here's a funny story: My elderly MIL used to trap the lizards around her country house and carry them in town to let go in the residential areas! Lizard taxi! Not in MY backyard, Mom! lol
Seriously, I cover all my flower pots with chicken wire to keep the squirrels out. I grow only daffodil bulbs because they don't like their taste--they still dig them up though!

Dawn said...

Sorry, but you are cracking me up! I kind of think they are cute - but then I don't have any trees (our house got build in a corn field) so no squirrels! But this story just cracked me up!

Crazy for Primitive Quilts & Gardens said...

Lol, I am at war with the four of them in our yard that constantly tip my bird feeder. I have cardinals, though, that frequent my feeder, so I have to keep it full to keep them, so what I usually do is wait till the squirrels are eating away happily, and then I send my dogs out the door chasing after them! You should see em run!

Ms. Jan said...

I see them on our neighbors' homes and think "Thank goodness we don't have them!" Well, of course we do, but the two miniature Schnauzers do help keep them off the decks, I think. We also have rats (a problem all over No. Calif.), and they get the D-con!

I hate rodents!!!!

Perry said...

I feel your pain. We had a family in our attic and they gave birth to a baby and it was noise continuously until we finally got a company to come trap the baby. Then we boarded up the place they got in by. They buy pecans in our yard so we are constantly digging up small pecan trees, lol. I don't care for them either. Good luck!!

Darlene said...

I'm sorry but I laughed and then thought Towanda!

They are definitely pesky little critters.

Pam said...

put some ammonia in a spray bottle and spray around various parts of your deck and on your BBQ cover...keep at this for a few days (a week if he is persistant) they hate the smell and will soon learn that this is not where they want to hang out.

Pam@
www.pamgwillim.com

Annemiek said...

You're lucky they don't have a taste for QUILTS! The ammonia solution is worth trying. Good luck! (and I admit: I had a laugh too,picturing you as Elmer Fudd!)

Libby said...

Squirrels *argh* I wage war with them here, too. Last year I went to the store and bought the BIGGEST Super Soaker squirt gun I could find. And I merrily squirted those little devils whenever I spied them in my space. It was fun and eventually it started to sink in *s*

Finn said...

Hi Marcie, what a hoot! I'm sure you will WIN eventually....lol, meantime I'm having a good chuckle over your post..*VBS*
Love the pic below of you by your favorite booth...it looks awesome! I'm so proud to know you *VBS*
Has the orphan train gotten to you ok? I'm not really keeping very much track of it, but did want to mention that 2 gals have expressed interest in reading it. Do you know if Terry has anyone lined up? If not maybe you can pass along that Susan of Desert Sky wants to read it next and then Eileen from My Quiltimg Porch. Thanks a million! Keep up the great work! Big hugs, Finn

Sue said...

Ha, I thought TOWANDA too! Those squirrels must wonder why you humans keep driving them across the bridge, maybe they consider it a little vacation. Seriously though, we have red squirrels here that do the same thing. They can really chew through wooden bird feeders & will cause all sorts of damage if they can get in the walls of the house. I've never figured out how to get rid of them, our dog tries to catch them, but they're too quick for her.

Rose Marie said...

Try spraying 'Shoo' or such product that keeps dogs and cats away from areas around the home. We used to have problem with raccoons using our patio door as a toilet. This spray works but you need to keep touching up the area after a rainfall.

Lea said...

Oh, Marcie. I'm just like Dawn, Your writing is so good and cracks me up!
I don't like squirrel either. They are RATS! just wearing cute costume.

Darcie said...

LOL You are too funny! You WILL win...I just know it!

Laurie Ann said...

We had two squirrels who were causing all kinds of damage over the winter. Luckily, we live out in the boonies and now they are in squirrel heaven. Chipmunks I can handle. Squirrels are just evil!!

Karen Dianne Lee said...

Marcie, this is a GREAT READ! Very fun. ;) *karendianne.

julieQ said...

I know you will win the war!! I feel bad when I see many of them killed by cars, but I bet they were trying to get back across the bridge! We have raccoons, too...

Karen said...

We are battling with one also but not to the degree you are. I loved reading what you wrote. Very funny!

Eileen said...

We have many squirrls and DH loves to watch them in the trees. We have squirrel proof feeder but they get what drops on the ground. I have the chipmucks morw. The dig in my garden . I think the spraying ammonia is a good idea. They are messy buggers but so are the birds. We just live with them. Love your story.

Carin said...

I love the image of a squirrel dancing on your deck to taunt you!LOL! I can also just see you and the man across the bridge passing each other to drop off squirrels. LOL!!

Carin said...

I love the image of a squirrel dancing on your deck to taunt you!LOL! I can also just see you and the man across the bridge passing each other to drop off squirrels. LOL!!

Faith said...

Oh squirrels are a nuisance my scratch and alice the lurchers would happily chase these for you the tell them off barking up trees hee hee they would sort the problem out for you. The squirrels have done a lot of damage in houses and lofts here, eating the wiring and eating telephone cables. My gran used to call them awful tree rats.

JudyL said...

How's the battle going?

Karen said...

I have decided that you need to submit this to Reader's Digest or AARP magazine or somewhere.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Good luck! As I recall Elmer Fudd has "double barrel" insurance, how's your aim?

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