The Day of the Squirrels

Our weather has turned cold again. I was worried about the roads and our driveway becoming super slippery when all the slush froze, but it hasn’t been that bad. Whew.

We adopted Hannah Joy from the county animal control shelter two days before Christmas. The shelter had just enough microchips for the dog adopted before us, but not enough for us, so we weren’t able to get Hannah microchipped. The shelter called EJ on Thursday to tell him that they had gotten more so on Friday JJ drove us to the animal shelter. Fortunately, JJ didn’t have to work that day, and his new college semester doesn’t begin until this Tuesday, so he was free to take us. Hannah has not yet learned to sit quietly in the car so I didn’t want to have to try taking her by myself. The people at the shelter were all very glad to see Hannah. They exclaimed at how good she’s looking, and they gave her lots of lovings, and they also gave her a treat, which she loved.

JJ had to work today–as he does every weekend. EJ and I spent a quiet day at home. We especially enjoyed watching all the activity at the birdfeeder.

First, we had an invasion of squirrels. I counted nine of them at the birdfeeder! That is the most squirrels that I’ve ever seen at one time. They were scampering all over the place, eating the seeds from the feeders and ground. I know that a lot of people hate the squirrels coming to their feeders, but I figure that, hey, all the critters need to eat, and I enjoy seeing the different animals that visit. One little squirrel found his (or her?) way into the lantern feeder, which I thought was very cute.

In addition to the squirrels, three deer showed up. These three are our most frequent visitors. By the time they showed up, there were only two squirrels at the feeder. They didn’t seem spooked by the deer. Sometimes the deer stay for quite a while, but this afternoon they didn’t stay long. I think it was probably because EJ was trying to see if one deer was a male who had lost his antlers. If we move too much in the house, we make the deer nervous.


Miss Madeline Meadows

Finally, Miss Madeline Meadows, our sweet serial killer cat, showed up at the feeders. She lurked under the feeder for a while, chittered at the birds, and even climbed the post. However, she was unsuccessful at catching any of them and she finally wandered off. I am glad when she kills a mouse, shrew, or vole, but don’t want her killing birds. Fortunately, she’s more successful at killing the rodents than the birds.

I have watched for the possum, but I only saw it that one day. After we saw the possum, I emailed the Opossum Society of the United States asking whether they were a threat to my poultry. They replied that “It could grab a chicken or duck and it would eat the whole thing, bones and all. They don’t ‘live’ anywhere, they are transient creatures and crash in the same spot 2-4 days in a row, then move on. They may repeat the cycle, staying at your house in another couple of weeks or so. In a large area, I have recommended deploying either human male or coyote urine on the perimeter to discourage ALL wildlife of a size to grab your chickens. Wouldn’t work on anything bigger than a coyote, though.” I think coyotes and raccoons are a greater threat, and my poultry is safe in their coop at night, so I’m not all that worried if I see a possum.

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