Sunday, March 29, 2009


I accidentally started writing before posting my pics, and haven't figured out if there is a way to cut and paste while writing a post, so be sure to scroll down to read about my feelings about squirrels, and find the link to Nancy's blog where you'll discover more blogs about wildlife in the garden.  All of the pics on this post were taken today.

The first three photos are of the squirrel that is all one color in the back yard.  They were taken through the window in the back door.

I walked to the front yard in the street, and when I saw the squirrel with the light colored tummy, I went and sat on the neighbor's porch, and used my zoom to get these pics.  The squirrel looked at me, and decided I wasn't getting up to bug her, so she went ahead and ate off the corn in the feeder.  Isn't that quite the look?

Nancy, at Gardening Gone Wild, has been hosting Garden Bloggers' Design Workshops on a variety of topics. Since I have only been blogging since October, and all of my iphotos were lost when switching computers a year or so ago, I haven't joined in on them. The current one is called, "Wildlife in the Garden." She has some great questions for garden bloggers to think about and answer. I have some posts that I've labeled, "Wildlife in the Corner Garden" in my sidebar, where you can click to see what I've already posted. The bottom posts there are more directly about wildlife.  Here is a link to the first one, called, "Wildlife in the City", which you can click on if you don't want to scroll down the others I've put there.  I also have butterflies and such posted in the sidebar.

I am still exploring how to live with the critters, and want to answer some of Nancy's questions and ask some of my own. After exporting a whole bunch of photos this afternoon, I decided to make this a several parter, and as you can see, I focussed on squirrels today. 

When I first posted about squirrels, I was unhappy with a neighbor for feeding corn to them. I considered them enemies, because they dig up flowers in my pots and in the ground.  They eat a few bites out of the tomatoes just as they have ripened, and then toss them around.  When my neighbor friends and I strung popcorn one winter day, to feed the birds, I refused to put mine out, because I figured the squirrels would eat it.

Shortly after I told Larry I wondered if the squirrels would dig less if we fed them, he went ahead and started putting bread crumbs and such out for them.  He also got a corn feeder in hopes they wouldn't eat so much food from the bird feeders.  Time will tell about the digging. They've already dug out some of my onions, unless it was birds or a cat.

I think I asked this before, but if you want to add your experiences with squirrels or strategies for dealing with them, post a comment.


  1. I leave a saucer of bird seed on the side porch far away from my flower beds just for the squirrels. Birds have found it too. But I get less digging around my crocus bulbs. We'll see about the tomatoes this summer.

  2. Great pictures of one happy squirrel, Sue! Thanks for leaving the link at Gardening Gone Wild. I'll slip it into the wrap-up post right now.

  3. Susan, they are little pesky critters! I found out that they hate Orange Oil, so when I plant bulbs I first dip them in the orange oil (the kind you use to bake with) and they stopped eating it. The only thing is you have to apply it about twice a year around plants and bulbs to keep them from digging your plants up. So far it is working great for my garden, and I guess it helps that I have 2 dogs in the yard.

  4. They sure are rascally little buggers-smart too it would seem.

  5. Oh those pesky, acrobatic squirrels that can amazingly get to bird feeders that are supposed to be squirrel-proof and fly through the air to do it. I don't put much stock in feeding them to keep them from digging. They are diggers- they do it for entertainment (my own philosophy). At least you got some fun pictures.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  6. Great pics, but it looks like that was not the first visit for the squirrel in the first picture.
    Prayers, Bo

  7. Sue, I know the squirrels can be a real problem when it ocmes to bulbs. But I usually live and let live with wildlife. They ARE such fun to watch in their food finding efforts.

    Read your comment on Carol's post and I think your weed is speedwell. I had a picture a few posts back.

  8. We haven't had to deal with squirrels on the farm much -- it's actually too "wild" for them here -- but I remember dueling with them over the bird feeder hung outside our apartment in Chapel Hill. Our JRT used to chase them across the lawn to the pines. Unfortunately they were much smarter than her, and sometimes for fun would run around the tree before going up it.

  9. Hi Sue~~ I don't have squirrel problems likely because I've got a cat. They (squirrels) like to climb my front yard trees, (Sweet Gum) but they never venture into the back and it must be because of the cat. I don't put out bird feeders so there isn't really any reason for them to go back there anyway. Your photos are great. What a cutie pie.

  10. I used to work at a garden center and one fall they got in a bird feeder that was supposedly squirrel-proof. It was a tube shape with a metal ring around the bottom for the birds to perch on while they ate the seed. If a squirrel tried to get the food, their weight would cause the ring to drop down and start spinning. The squirrel would be flung off. I actually bought one for my husband's step-father for Christmas; I borrowed the video that we got with the shipment and it was hilarious!

  11. They are cute pictures! They drove me crazy for a long time too. They chewed apart bird feeders, the baffles that were supposed to stop them and ate flower buds off plants. I finally realized they were not going away no matter what. I now have one bird feeder that is platform style and I just let them eat out of it. They seem to leave the other things alone now.

  12. Interesting photo shots .... every single moment is well captured... ~ bangchik.

  13. They make for entertainment and comical photos, other than that I am sick of Squirrels right now!

  14. He's so cute. I don't mind feeding them but I'm not happy when they chew up a bird feeder. I have baffles on most of my bird feeders and the squirrels eat separately on their log.

  15. I love to watch squirells, I know they can be destructive, but they are fun to watch, chasing each other threw the trees and tormenting my dogs.

  16. We don't have a squirrel problem but have gophers from time to time.

    I remember fondly the squirrels in my Grandmother's yard in Lincoln Nebraska. She named and fed them until she was 100!

  17. Tom, that's a good idea to just leave some seeds on a lower level. The doves would like it, too.

    Thanks Nan, I am scatterbrained, and am glad I got a post done before the month is over. Now, I need to find others' posts I haven't read yet.

    Cathy, thanks for the orange oil tip. I'll have to check it out for certain areas or pots that have less common plants in them.

    Yes Tina, they do seem smart.

    Meems, it does look like they have done some digging already. I couldn't tell if the first squirrel was able to get food from that feeder. I still have hopes for my pots, but time will tell if the squirrels in my neighborhood can be bribed.

    Bo, you are right. That squirrel has been eating lots since last summer. The others have, too, though.

    Beckie, I forgot to look up speedwell before replying, but that sounds right to me. Thanks! That's probably a good plan, to live and let live. Does that mean you don't feed them? I'm wondering if we made a mistake starting to feed them.

    Sweetbay, I think one of the squirrels' favorite activities is to tease our dog into chasing them, and they will run around a bit before going up the tree.

    I get off work before Larry, and since I rode with him today, started my comments. He is off now, so I'll finish later this evening.

  18. Great photos of the pigs, I mean squirrels, although maybe being able to get good photos of squirrels isn't such a good thing. If you do decided to feed them, Don't feed them peanuts in the shell! My next-door neighbors do, and the squirrels bring the peanuts into my garden & bury them, often digging up plants to do so. They even dug up a sapling Redbud to bury their stupid peanuts. Grumble, grumble, grumble...

  19. Grace, we used to have neighbor cats around, but the families I knew of who had them have moved. I didn't really like them digging in my newly planted beds and using them as litter boxes first thing in the spring. The neighbor across the street thought I was nuts when I followed her cat to their yard with a small bird in its mouth. I told her to help me get the bird away from it. She said that's what cats do. Grr! We did get it away, but I can't remember if it lived. I'm glad the squirrels don't give you fits.

    Laura, The feeder the squirrel was on in the photo was one I got at a garage sale, and leaves cover the holes when a squirrel's weight is on the feeder. I don't think the squirrel is thrown off, though. I bet that video was funny.

    Catherine, we have some feeders that are more of a platform, in fact one of them is on a bench in the front, and that's where we put stale cereal, bread crumbs, etc. The others are hanging. I wonder if the squirrels could eat out of them without spilling them or knocking them over. They haven't chewed the feeders that we can tell, though.

    Banchick, thanks for the complement. I love taking pictures, and some of them turn out well. A lot get deleted, too.

    Darla, I have a feeling I will be sick of the squirrels this summer, too.

    Marnie, I should come to your blog and look at your feeders. We haven't figured out a good place to put the feeders where we can see the birds eat, but where the ground below won't be scratched up by the critters eating the seeds that fall, and where we can use baffles.

    Deb, when I first posted about squirrels, I had a strong dislike for them, even though there was a part of me that thought they were kind of cute. These days, I've given up yelling at them that it's my yard when I go outside. Now that I think about it, they don't chatter at me like they used to.

    Nancy, I'm glad we don't have creatures digging tunnels in our yard. There were voles or something at our church a few years ago, so there are some in the area. What did your grandmother feed the squirrels? I don't remember if you lived in Lincoln for awhile, or just visited her. I live in Lincoln. Do you remember what part of town she lived in, or the name of the street? I had to laugh about her naming them, because I was thinking about naming the 2 I see the most.

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter,
    You're probably right it isn't a good thing if I can get good pics of the pigs/squirrels. I was inside for the first pics, and I'm thinking it would have left had I opened the door. I was sitting across the street using my zoom for the others. That squirrel is more shy than the other, and even at that distance, she was keeping an eye on me to be sure I wasn't going to get up. Still, the other is not as afraid of us as I think it should be.

    I'll remember not to get peanuts. I remember grumbling about the neighbor lady giving them corn that they drug over here. I imagine there were neighbors who grumbled about the sunflowers they took off the plants last year, and drug to their yards.

    I hope spring weather comes back soon!

  20. I have a nice cactis bed around my gardon to geep the sguirrels out,its perty and it works.


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