After my first sunflower got beheaded, I moved my remaining sunflower away from the steps and kept a close eye on it. After a week or so, I thought maybe it was safe, that the squirrels couldn’t get it without the stairs nearby. Then, one afternoon last week, I went out to check on my last sunflower and was horrified to find a naked stem where the biggest bloom used to be.
I went partway down the stairs to see if any of the smaller blooms were left and saw this little bandit hiding under the leaves of the hydrangea.
I grabbed my camera and snapped some photos while the thieving little tree rat continued chomping down my sunflower, somehow completely unaware that I was watching from just a few feet away. I caught the exact moment when he finally realized that I saw him. (Unfortunately, that priceless moment turned out a bit blurry.)
The little thief then tried to walk away all nonchalant like. If squirrels had a whistle in their arsenal of strange sounds, he would have been whistling as he walked away!
But that white tip at the end of his tail gave him away. It was Tipsy, the little squirrel with the twisted neck that I fed and worried about all last winter. And, it was that same white-tipped tail that I saw disappearing into the garden after I discovered my other sunflower had been devoured.
Tipsy is a sunflower thief! And, he’s built a nest in the tree next to my deck so he’s can see everything that goes on in my backyard. When I put out food, he’s the first to appear. I don’t think I need to worry about Tipsy anymore! He’s a crafty one and he seems mostly healed from his neck ailment and is able to climb and stand on his hind legs now, although he still runs with his head slightly tipped, which is how I know it’s the same squirrel, even though he’s thinned out and looks nothing like the little chubber he was last winter.
Ah, how I miss those fluffy winter coats! It will be interesting to see if Tipsy gets chubby again this winter, or if, as I’ve long suspected, the really chubby squirrels are the ones with disabilities of some kind.