Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can't Live With the Little Bastards. Can't Live Without 'Em.

So...I 'm in a bit of a quandary. You could say that I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or, that I am caught in a cleft stick. Possibly, I am drifting somewhere between the Devil and the deep blue sea. Perhaps even, torn between two lovers and feeling like a fool.

Quite simply, I am embroiled in a serious crisis of faith.

I have been invaded by squirrels... And not by my figurative squirrels - those I can manage (mostly). My world has been disrupted by a swarm of squirrels ... Real Ones.

Well, OK.... Perhaps 'swarm' is overstating a little. Last count put us at  2 (maybe 4) red squirrels and 1 (possibly 2) black squirrel(s).

The actual numbers matter not at all, really. It's the very fact that there is even 'a' real live, moving around squirrel (let alone several) hanging out at my bird feeder that is the source of my inner turmoil...for reasons I will state below.

Reason #1. It is a BIRD feeder ... intended to feed BIRDS... not squirrels.

This winter, I have derived enormous heaps of pleasure.... and tranquility... and excitement (quite a feat of diversity when you stop and think about it) from the simple act of watching birds eat. I have serenely looked on as my feathery flock has grown from a lone chickadee to 2 chickadees. Then from 2 chickadees to 3. Then from 3 chickadees to 47... With a pair of nuthatches, a couple of downy woodpeckers, a bunch of goldfinches and a whole lotta common redpolls sprinkled in to spice things up a bit. I have LOVED every single minute of my bird feeding experience. LOVED it. LOVED. It.

And now the squirrels monopolize the feeder, leaving my wee little birds to flit around on empty tummies. AND the squirrels are eating me out of house and home. AND they are messy...flinging seed all this way and that-like.


I resigned myself to the notion that "Hey, squirrels are cute little living creatures of The Universe, too. They deserve a tasty morsel now and then to help them through these cold snowy months"...and I was at peace with this change in feeder clientele.

Besides, as mentioned in a previous post...

 I heart squirrels. A lot.

They are hilarious. It is super duper entertaining to watch as they devise ways to actually get to the feeder. You see, the feeders are suspended from the eavestrough in front of my living room window and the squirrels have to scale the side of the house up to the window sill, then leap through the air onto one of three feeders and then hold on for dear life as the feeders swing and sway from the force of their landing....hee's super funny. Some can't hang on so they plummet to the ground below in a very satisfying fashion. We trickily adjusted the height of the feeders thus rendering the leaping into the air method useless. They now have to peek over the edge of the eaves and shimmy down the chain and then somehow manage to slide down over the roof of the feeder to get to the goods. Words cannot express the sheer adorable-ness of a little squirrelly face peering upside down trying to align itself with a chain. The acrobatic little bastards certainly have to work for their supper...And be adorable ... And provide me with entertainment. "Amuse me, rodent!" No free ride here, thank you very much.

So, that issue worked itself out nicely and we established a new bird/squirrel feeder status quo. Life is good...different but good. I have adapted.


Reason B. My dog recently realized that occasionally there appears a squirrel that dangles... precariously ....enticingly .... mere inches from his living room...and this causes him to LOSE HIS F@#KING MIND.

Again. And again. And again.

He paces. He whines. He pants. He squeaks. He scratches. He climbs. He drools. He barks. He barks. He whines. He drools. He barks. He whines. He barks. He scratches. He barks.

Again. And again. And again.

And this causes me to LOSE My F@#KING MIND.

Again. And again. And again.

My peaceful meditative serenity has been shattered. My blissful chickadee viewing buzz has been killed. And the tasteful decor of my living room has been marred by the addition of two plastic baby gates that  together serve as an anti-Wheaten barrier protecting the wood trim and the window from my lunatic dog's relentless and indescribably annoying attacks.

The most obvious solution to this desperate situation is to simply remove the feeders.
No more sunflower seeds = No more squirrels.
No more squirrels = No more idiotic freak outs from my dog.
No more idiotic freak outs from my dog = No more idiotic freak outs from my self.
No more idiotic freak outs from my self = Peace and quiet.

But at what cost???
No more sunflower seeds = No more chickadees.
No more chickadees = A gaping void in my world.

All this because of a swarm of squirrels.

But remember... I heart squirrels. A lot.

Or do I?

You can see my predicament.


kj said...

Karen, you are my favourite writer E-V-E-R!!!!

kj said...

lest someone think you were flattering yourself, i should say that 'kj' stands for kathryn jefferies :) i knew you knew that, but...

stephanie beaumont said...

very great...faced with the same problem - (minus the dog) my 4 year old suggested "just move the feeder mama"...she's got a point

Lindafarrowbullock said...

Karen"!!!!! Are a terrific this.

squirrel_e_girl said...

Thanks, you guys!!! You're awesome :)