I have an aversion to squirrels. I didn’t always. When I used to sit in church with my Mam-maw, too young to pay attention to the sermon, but too old for the nursery, she kept me occupied by drawing cute pictures of squirrels and rabbits all over the worship bulletin.
When I was older, she gave me a squirrel statue, which is pretty cute, but lacking the space for it, and not wanting it to break, I keep it safely in a drawer.
When I grew up and had my third baby, the neighborhood squirrels moved in. They lived in the attic, had parties each night and invited their friends. The landlord didn’t think it was top priority to get rid of them, so I spent several agonizing months without sleep. Squirrels have been on my bad list ever since.
I went outside today to check on my birds. As I suspected, the bird bath was frozen solid, and the one bird feeder most of the birds can access was not only empty, but icy.
I chipped the ice away from the bird-sized tray that circles the feeder with a butter knife, put about half a cup of black oil sunflower seeds inside, and replaced the lid before putting it back on its hanger. The hanger that is supposed to discourage critters like squirrel from raiding the bird feeders, but doesn’t. So, I never fill the feeders.
I tossed more seeds onto the ice and snow-covered ground for the juncos and the doves that were out there yesterday, dumped the ice out of the bird bath and put some water in the plastic topper (it’s made to catch the water coming out of a planter, but I figure it’s freeze-proof), and came back inside.
Probably not 10 minutes passed before those pesky squirrels appeared. They know I don’t want them out there. When I open the door, they usually scatter, tails twitching. This time, probably knowing it’s below my comfort threshold outside and I’d have to put my shoes on to chase them, they froze like deer in headlights, then sat there stuffing their cheeks with seeds and taunting me.
A glimpse around the yard told me they had knocked over the bird bath. Again. I made Scat! noises at them from the front door, shook the snow shovel threateningly, and, aggravated, took off after them. They scooted, bound for the safety of the trees. I about broke my neck running back into the house as I was still wearing my comfy (but slick) house shoes.
After that, I gave up, and picked up my camera. They’re cute, squirrels are, I admit. But they’d better leave some of those seeds for the birds.