Monday, 1 July 2013

How NOT To Catch A Squirrel

So our squirrel capers continue.

Ted is now so obsessed with them that he woke L up at 5.45 this morning whining and grumbling and generally making a nuisance of himself until someone (me) got up and let him out.

The squirrel has been busy in the back garden. It turns out that while the birds turn up their beaks at left-over homemade wheat-free ginger biscuits, he adores them...


He's been stock-piling his cache of what must be by now pretty soggy lumps of rice flour flavoured with cinnamon and stuck together with egg and sunflower spread by burying them in the garden at the bottom of the fence.






I let him have three or four trips then let Teddy out. 
The Squirrel bolted up the fence to safety with his biscuit clamped firmly in his jaws....


And reached the top of the fence from where he knew he was in no immediate danger and could afford to giggle at Ted.


Who frankly deserved giggling at because, for some unaccountable reason known best to himself, instead of using his eyes to see where the squirrel was, he was using his nose to smell where the squirrel had been.
This resulted in the performance of a very long-winded squiggly-patterned trail-following, which took in most of the garden but utterly failed to find the squirrel at the end. This was because by the time he reached the fence where the squirrel had been, the squirrel had long since realised what was going on, run nimbly along the fence top, jumped down onto the lawn and run across it behind Teddy and got up into the safety of the Apple Tree. How embarrassing. It's a good job no one took any pictures....



The Great White Hunter was not dispirited. As soon as he realised what had happened he took up position on the bench that circles the Apple Tree and proceeded to stare at the squirrel, as if he could make it come down using the power of his mind alone.





Foreseeing a potentially lengthy and probably monotonous siege, I went off to make some hot water and found this going on in the front garden...


The Next Generation Has Arrived. 
A Squirrel Child (above) and A Squirrel Parent (below)


Frankly that's just showing off....

I returned to the back garden to discover that Squirrel Number One had got bored with staring into Ted's eyes and decided to make a bid for freedom, flinging himself from the top of the Apple Tree in the general direction of the Bamboo, which is quite some distance further than any squirrel should be capable of reaching. Against all the odds he did it.

Ted was furious and spent the next ten minutes searching every cane of bamboo yipping shrilly but by then the squirrel was long gone.

He looked so dejected when he finally emerged I didn't dare tell him about what had happened in the front garden. Instead I distracted him by pointing out the Greenfinches who have returned (and have a child they've hidden away somewhere), and a poor Robin Who Has Lost His Tail In Some Mysterious Accident We Will Never Know The Details Of. He was finding balancing on the feeder quite hard, poor thing.






Ted went back to checking the garden for any sign of squirrels and I left him to it and went up to the pond, where I was nearly knocked flying by my friend Mrs Sparrow, who zoomed past me in her usual uber casual way, flicking her wings and landing rather impressively I thought (although I didn't tell her so because she is already a very confident bird) on the teeny weeny wire strand that tops the compost heap. She cocked her head and looked at me as is her wont, then without warning launched herself off the wire, flew straight at me so I had to jump out of her way and landed on her stone in the pond. 
I tutted and she glanced at me as if to say "well you were in the way", had a quick drink then zoomed off in a straight line back to the nest.
I followed, curious to see whether there were any sounds of baby sparrows yet but not really expecting any, even though dad has been sitting for a while. BUT, standing beneath the nest the peeps of more sparrow children were indeed audible. This is their second batch this summer and it sounds like there are a fair few chicks. Pretty impressive.
I asked M later whether Mrs S flies that close to him and apparently it's only me. I am relieved, I was worried she would think all humans safe and end up getting hurt as a result. As it is, in our encounters I am the one in danger because she flies so near and so fast that I invariably have to duck or jump out of her way.

Perhaps when her next batch of children are ready to leave the nest we should deploy them as Official Squirrel Scarer Offers, then Ted's nerves might have a chance to return to normal....


18 comments:

  1. Well, as it seems you have rejected my highly original Ted Conquers the Squirrel Plan (but I am not going to get sniffy about this being a mature adult and all) I have given this further consideration, and have consulted my spirit guides. And they say '3-D goggles.'

    Now, whether they are for Ted to wear, or the squirrel, or both, I do not know, because spirit guides are notoriously bad at going quiet when you get to the interesting and/ or essential details, but as a mere mortal I shall say 'Put 'em on both,' because at least it will make for an entertaining series of photographs or, dare I say, a You Tube video with viral potential.

    Just a thought...reject as you will....sniff....(crawls back into her hovel and cries a teeny tiny bit.... eats a cake...feels better....)

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    1. I did discuss the see-through kennel and the proposed learning of mime idea with Ted, but he said that although he very much appreciated all the time and consideration that he could tell had gone into the suggestion, on balance he thought it would be more fun just to keep chasing them.

      I will, of course, pass on the message from the Spirit World and if more detailed info comes your way (in, say, a trance or something equally exciting) I promise to tell him that too.

      I'm glad I gave you an excuse to eat cake without the accompanying guilt :-)

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  2. I absolutely love the slightly blurred one of it jumping - fantastic!

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    1. I ummed and ahhed about including it because of the blurriness, but in the end decided it tells you all you need to know about the squirrel so it really had to be part of the story!

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  3. I do love a good squirrel story...with me in squirrel no-mans-land now. Poor Ted driven mad by these pesky little beasties.

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    1. I'm waiting for the day you post a snap of one eating your bird seed... :-)

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  4. One of our squirrels got attacked by the woodpecker the other day, when it got too close to one of the chicks..

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    1. Go woodpecker! You didn't need a squirrel twirler after all, just an angry parent bird

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  5. This did gave me a real laugh reading not only your post but the comment and reply. Margaret

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    1. Thanks Margaret :-)

      Denise always makes me laugh too :-)

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  6. Poor Teddy. Harry is like this on walks - I'll see a fox run across our path but Harry waits to catch the scent to react. By then (fortunately) the fox is long gone. Wonderful pics - I wonder what happened to the Robin?

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    1. It must be a terrier thing. Teddy's hearing and nose abilities are very acute.
      I'm wondering if a rat had a go at the Robin. They are in the garden here :-(

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  7. Great story and photos,it was worth getting up early for! Daisy loved your photos, especially if I flicked through them quickly! She is also not very good at identifying where they are. I thought it was because she was getting old and couldn't see as well as she used it. I suppose they were breed for catching vermin and use their noses more for this purpose.
    Sarah x

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    1. You're right about that I reckon- terrier noses are second to none :-)

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  8. Another fantastically told story :) I can just picture all this happening - I think you should make a tv series or something... it would be most entertaining!

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    1. And the chief star of the show would be Teddy! Would it go to his head I wonder? x

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  9. What a hilarious post - so enjoyed reading and seeing your great photos :)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x