The trouble is, there is no longer Only One Squirrel In The Garden. Other squirrels have arrived. They discovered the bird feeder in the front garden towards the end of last week, and, once they'd worked out a suitably quick getaway (leap off the feeder, hare down the front path for 6 or 7 strides, then sharp left beneath the veg patch gate, 3 strides across it then up and over the fence, across the neighbours' drive and up into a huge fir tree from where no one can reach them) they have begun to frequent the front garden, with the stress being on the word "frequent." We are now suffering a deluge of squirrels and the fat balls are barely lasting a day :-(
In itself this would still not really be a problem were it not for the fact that Teddy has an inbuilt Fail-Safe Early Warning Squirrel Detection System which goes off without warning, loudly and relentlessly from dawn to dusk. Over the last three or four mornings it has started very early (indecently close to dawn) and I can personally testify to the fact that it is well and truly firing on more than all cylinders.
Yesterday (Saturday) we got a 7am Start Up Squirrel Warning which took the form of him yelling at the top of his voice as he repeatedly crashed into the glass doors while the squirrels sat nonchalantly on the fence opposite laughing at him. As his bedroom is directly beneath ours we did not find this as funny as the squirrels did.
This morning we were woken at 6 with more barking, whining and crashing. The moth box was out and it was useful to get up and close it before all my fluttery friends flew away, but even so I was not a happy girl.
These feelings were cemented later in the day when I observed this from the kitchen window. As far as I know the chairs in the garden were not put there as somewhere for the squirrels to rest and put their feet up when feeling a bit weary because they've been up since dawn baiting Ted. I call it taking the
My crossness was mollified by the contents of the moth box, which despite rain in the night yielded what may well prove to be my favourite catch yet. An Elephant Hawk Moth. What a beauty.
There was also a Clouded Border, another very pretty moth and another new one for me. For some unacountable reason he was on the wall inside the house. Perhaps he came in when M stomped downstairs to have severe words with Ted and put him in the garden at 6am. .
We popped out into the forest first thing to exercise the children before lunch with my lovely in-laws, (which always involves copious quantities of gin and much delicious food), also to take Ted's mind of squirrels. Luckily, there were none in the woods (because they've all moved into our garden) so he returned a more chilled-out dog. It can not last though. I fully expect to be woken at 5 tomorrow with more barking. In fact, I might not bother to set the alarm as Ted seems to be doing the job for us.
The Wild Shetlands were grazing down by the river and I thought the foal worthy of a photo or two...
I'll leave you with some pics of the Blackbird's Child and the Blue Tit Babies. The Blue Tits are making a right old racket (fit in fact to compete with Ted), demanding to be fed and following their exhausted parents around like demented balls of fluff on wings. Adorable though. Ooh, and I've also at long last seen the Woodpecker's Child, just a very quick flash of a glance through the branches of the twisted willow this morning where he was being fed by mum, but now I know he's around hopefully it won't be long before pictures.
Hope everyone's had a good restful weekend and that the coming week is kind to you. I'm looking forward to Wimbledon. Can Andy Murray do it this year? That's the question....