CALLING THE SQUIRRELS TO ORDER – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Order

It used to be that my merely tapping on the window glass convinced the squirrels to move on.

I have nothing against feeding a hungry squirrel, but the woods are warm. It is time for them to begin their return to eating foods which nature offers. They need to do a little digging, hunting and stop making a gawdawful mess on my deck.

In the name of saving a few bucks — and also delicately suggesting to feathered and furred critters that they need to return to the wild, I’m buying cheaper food. I know they don’t love the milo seeds in this feed.

It’s part of the encouragement to find food they like better. Meanwhile, there are piles of milo all over my deck which they toss there. Every evening we sweep it off the deck to the ground below where the doves — who actually like it — will stroll around the grounds munching on it.

When nesting begins, I’ll get richer food again. After nesting is finished, though, they need to remember to be wild. It’s a hard call and I’m a bit of a softie, as referees go.

Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?

Let me try a different approach …

This morning — and I don’t mean early this morning — the squirrels were chowing down with enthusiasm.

It was well into the day by then, like ten-thirty or eleven. The sun was high in the sky and shining brightly. I looked out my window. There was a party of squirrels fighting over who should be hanging on which part of which feeder. At least three were on the flat feeder and another pair were on the hanging feeder.

Scarred and scornful, I stand my ground!

I tapped loudly on the window and no one so much as twitched. Finally, I opened the window and called out “Hey, Fuzzies. Move your butts. Time to let the birds have a go at the food.”

They didn’t move. At all. They ignored me.

I finished dressing and made my way to the kitchen. A few squirrels had walked away. Slowly. No hurry. Probably laughing at me as they strolled slowly into the woodland that we otherwise call our “backyard.” Two more were still hanging on the flat feeder.

I tapped.

They ignored me.

I tapped harder.

They ignored me harder.

I see you. You see me. I’m eating, do you mind?

I finally opened the door, stepped out on the deck and said: “You guys need to move on. It’s almost noon. The sun is shining brightly. Betake yourselves to the forest and make your case with the oak trees. Find acorns. Rejoin nature.”

I’m still hungry …

They looked at me. I looked back.

Slowly they turned and even more slowly they climbed down the upright pole and made the short hop to the ground. It’s obvious that soon I will have to go outside and physically push them off the feeders.

Even that might not do the job. Soon, they may well decide they need to come into the house and sit at the dining table for a full dinner.

Is this a case for … (drumbeat) … the squirrel whisperers?



Categories: #FOWC, Animals, Daily Prompt, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, Squirrel

Tags: , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. I can’t even squeak open the window to take a few pictures of them without spooking them back up the tree. Mine are fraidy cats, it seems, but will go right back to devouring the food I put out for them once they’re sure I’m no longer going to bother them…

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  2. On our feeder, when pigeons feed other critters stand aside. I didn’t know they were such bullies.

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  3. They drive me crazy!!! When it’s snowing I don;t mind they eat the seed, but now as you said- go forge for all those acorns you buried!! They totally ignore when I bang on the window or throw something!!

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  4. Cute photos! But they really are taking you for a ride, as well as a free banquet.

    Not being willing to share with the birds would be a straw/camel’s back thing for me, i’m afraid. :-/

    They scare the birds then i scare them and i KNOW who’d flinch first! If they learn to play nice and fair i might relent a little.

    There is a pecking order and the one buying the seed should be the one on the top! 😉 It’s about respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This may be an entitled generation of squirrels in the making. Next winter they will be bringing their kids for you to babysit.

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  6. I like these and am curious as to what camera/lens combo you used

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    • I’m using the100-300 mm Panasonic 4/3 lens on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The Panny 100-300 is a little bit faster than the Olympus 75-300 and a LOT smoother. A very silky lens. More expensive too, but VERY sharp. It’s not a Leica, but it’s a great lens. I got it on Amazon for $514, which was about $100 less than it would have cost on other sites. I get really good photographs from it. Amazingly good. I thought I’d get better shots than I was getting from the Panasonic FZ 1000, but I didn’t think they’d be THIS much better. It works well even in very low lights, which is a big surprise.

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      • I have the 75-300 Oly lens, I picked up for a song, which seems pretty good, but you’re right, the Panny is a little faster and a little more expensive. Impressive results though with your squirrel shots. Also gotta admit that the EM5 MKII is a great camera with any lens on it. I love mine. Still getting used to the PEN-F and it’s peculiarities. Buying used means returning to factory default re-set and starting from scratch.

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  7. Maybe “Evil Squirrel” (the blogger) has some suggestions. I mean he hangs out with them….. (this is, of course, tongue in cheek) 😛

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    • He just likes the pictures. I didn’t think they’d actually move IN. Later in the day, they were hanging out in the chairs. Every time they saw a bird, they charge up the rail and make the bird fly away, then settle back down in the comfy chair…

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  8. You probably need to take a run at ’em with a broom. Remind them that you are bigger and scarier in the spring. 🙂

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  9. What a delightful post!!!!!!! Loved your humour and it’s going to be interesting to see who wins out, you or the squirrels. Beautiful shots by the way!

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  10. Oh I know this situation so well – only in my case it’s two of two different neighbours’ cats…. They just simply don’t even bother to acknowledge me and know exactly that it would take me a long while to get into my shoes and coat, to step out and shoo them away – and WHEN they get off FINALLY, they do it at a snail’s speed! 😉

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  11. The famous squirrel/human standoff. Who will blink first?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I regretted not having any squirrels and now I think it was perhaps a good thing. Our birds have left our feeders and are already thinking about building nests.

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  13. In the second last photo, I think the squirrel is saying “This here feeder is mine!”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I can hear them now: “Hey, Marilyn! We finished the appetizer–where’s the entrée?” Chop, chop, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think those squirrels are part of Johnny Roccco’s mob. They follow Rocco’s thought about “wanting more…and no I’ll never have, yeahhh”. We know what happened to Johnny Rocco. Yeahhh.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think they are now upgraded themselves as your outdoor pets!

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