The baby squirrel is still alive and seems to be thriving. It’s still on the skinny side but it’s learned all the ways of the deck and yard and acts just like the adult squirrels. It comes in the morning and then again later in the afternoon. It takes peanuts from my hand, eating some and burying the rest. It knows which branches to leap onto from the pergola and it is as curious about Frosty, who just celebrated his 19th birthday, as the other squirrels are.
A few other squirrels have acquired names. There is Chip, who is missing the end of his ear, and Slice, who is missing a slice of ear. Although Chip has been coming around for many months, I don’t have any pictures of him because he doesn’t sit still. He’s kind of scary to be around actually! He practically vibrates with energy and has a rather wild look in his eyes. He’s tried to grab my finger instead of a peanut several times.
The squirrel who tips over backward while he eats is still around too. I call him Tipsters, since we’ve already had two Tippys and a Tipsy.
Tipsters seems normal until he eats. Then he stands up higher and higher until he starts tipping over backward. It’s really weird. He’s more standoffish than the others but he holds his own in the fierce competition for food.
Then there is Shorty, who I thought was a new Shorty because he had a rounded short tail instead of a flattened tail. But as the squirrels started getting their winter fur, he started looking more and more like the old Shorty until one day I realized it was the old Shorty! I love that little guy. This will be his third winter with us as it’s been two years since he first showed up. He is up to his old begging tricks, standing outside the slider looking inside, hoping that I will see him and give him some peanuts.
I’m amazed the baby is doing so well with all the competition. It’s crazy this year! Sometimes my deck just swarms with squirrels. I’ve counted as many as seven at one time and that doesn’t count the ones out burying the nuts they’ve just taken. There is more squeaking, squawking and pouncing and violent chasing than I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes feeding the squirrels by hand gets a little scary. Last Friday, I was sitting inside the slider handing out nuts when a squirrel tried to pounce on the squirrel that was taking a nut out of my hand. That squirrel popped up into the air and FLEW right past my face into the house and under the dining room table. I felt its claws brush past my cheek! Then I had a momentary crisis on my hands as I needed to hold Smarty back and try to get the squirrel out of the house at the same time. Luckily, as soon as I grabbed Smarty the squirrel leapt out the door.
There are a couple of female squirrels but most of the regulars are males. I always hope for a female squirrel friend, since I am the lone female amongst three human boys, three kitty boys and a male dog, but I’m wondering if the males chase the females off or something because the males are the ones that stay the longest. Shorty and Chip are definitely the most dominant squirrels. They honk at and pounce on any squirrels that approach where they’re eating and the others always back down.
I’ve been putting plates of sunflower seeds out in the afternoon and it’s amazing how fast they can inhale a big pile of seeds!
For some reason, they remind me of Roombas when they’re circling around the deck , sucking up everything edible in their path.
I hope to buy and carve a pumpkin to use as a squirrel feeder (for the photo opportunities) but autumn and October are quickly passing me by. As is this day. I’ve got to get off the computer and get my day going. I’ll try to catch up on some blog reading this afternoon.