Squirrels, Yeh, Those Guys; Toss in a Fox and a Dozen Raccoons to Make a Blog.

One night at dusk while looking out the big window towards the big Pecan Tree I thought I saw a Monkey in the Cypress Trees beyond the nut trees. Oh geez man, I thought “whatever you do don’t tell anyone they will send the white-suits after you.” Whatever this critter was seemed to be airborne gliding between the two stately Italian Cypress’s. The animal performed that feat a half dozen times, at the fourth act I realized it was a squirrel. It appeared to have a long tail due to the branch it was using as a launch pad. He must have been on a flimsy limb because it would dip down then as he leaped to the other tree about 6 feet away the bough slapped up between his legs and drew through suddenly whipping up as the trick was completed.

Actual photo of the Apple Bandit, now deceased.

They aren’t always that co-ordinated or talented whatever the case may be. Some of the Red Squirrels are just plain clumsy. While in the garden a Squirrel caught my eye as he (he/she?) was running back and forth above the road on a power line. I had seen this character previous to this each time his clumsiness was blatant. This guy looked as if he was going to fall every few feet. As a high-wire performer he was wobbling appearing close to dropping to the asphalt 25 feet or so below. Alas he did fall while I was watching him, he did not die upon impact rather I found him on the side of the road. He appeared to have just enough life in him to make that his final resting place. The saddest part is that it was obvious he was struggling with blindness, a broken bone or another malady other than mere clumsiness.

The Squirrels make up an unequal share of the road kill, it makes me wonder about evolution. Vehicles have dominated the world for just more than 100 years after millions of Squirrels have been struck by them shouldn’t survival of the fittest forced at least a few changes? They like Cats are confused by traffic, most of us have been challenged by various animals running across the road then suddenly stop to look at the approaching vehicle.

I picked one up off of the road a while back, no longer than 3 weeks, that was exceptionally chubby. I believe he was the critter chomping on my Apples. He would run across the same power line the other one fell from to the pole then down onto the fence to attack the tree. He would run along the top rail towards the end of the fence where the Apple tree is. Leaping in a single bound alighting on a nearby branch he would take a bite out of as many as he was able before Skunk Puppy ran it off. Unfortunately both of them turned this into a game, the dog would hide behind a rose bush when she saw the bandit heading our way.

The Squirrel was in stealth mode, most likely the only time during his life he wasn’t chattering in an attempt to mortify Skunkpuppy. She eventually would see it beginning to be what the dog thought was her chance to finally catch the red rodent. Three feet from the end of the fence is a power pole upon which he would climb rapidly to the top pausing only to torment the pursuer. Flicking it’s tail while staring and chattering making it easy to imagine what four letter words were exiting the fast moving mouth. Moving onto the wire Skunkpuppy never lost sight of her nemesis or the belief one day she would be the winner. Wishful thinking, the furry Red ones were placed on earth to never be caught. I wonder perhaps they are a hologram proving this is a simulated universe. No I’ve lifted them from the road you can take my word they are real.

This may be the year I finally get some Apples from that tree. I blame the Squirrel when the Raccoons are as much to blame with one huge difference. The Squirrel for some reason would take one bite from many apples while on the other hand the Raccoons would take all of them. Where they were taking them I will never figure out. Last summer during August I made big plans to pick the remaining fruit from the tree, wakening early at the crack of noon I went to the site of the harvest. To my surprise all of the fruit was gone, none on the tree, ground, or anywhere in sight. There were no half rotten ones on the ground, no hen pecked ones on the tree, it had the appearance there never was a single Apple in the vicinity. I would be less than truthful if I were to say I suspected the Raccoons immediately, it took me a few days to figure it out.

My first inclination was to blame “them”, you know the people that strip fruit trees in the middle of the night. Finally I had visions of a dozen or more of the furry bandits with the mask surrounding the base of the tree while a juvenile climbed up ejecting them to the mentors feasting on the ground. Some had to have been carried off to some hiding place, surely they couldn’t have eaten all of them on that spot. I’m not sure how it came to a conclusion but I cannot rule out the cagey Foxes either. They love Apples and get along with Raccoons well, dogs and Coyotes are their mortal enemies.

It appears the Coyote is saying “I accept no responsibility for the stripping of the Apple Tree.” You’re acting pretty guilty if you ask me I replied”, at that he turned and ran.

I would have preferred that the Apple robbery ended up without the death of at least one of the suspected culprits. Unfortunately another with a taste for adventure and Apples will grace the environment once again, his life will be safe with me but his ears may catch fire as I curse him.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

2 responses to “Squirrels, Yeh, Those Guys; Toss in a Fox and a Dozen Raccoons to Make a Blog.”

  1. Yes, I see a lot of squirrel road kill here in mid-coast California as well. I guess while sad, especially for the squirrels, it is a bounty for the crows, foxes and other such creatures. In fact, one time I saw a raven clearly trying to chase/goad a squirrel to run into traffic in order to kill it. I thought it was just a coincidence at first but I didn’t have much to do, so I pulled over up the road and watched and the “coincidence” happened several more times as the bird kept it up with multiple squirrels.

    Perhaps the adaptation that allows squirrels to continue to thrive as a species is more their fecundity rather than any perspecacity on the part of individual squirrels? I don’t know but I must say I find the little creatures to be quite cute and enjoy watching their antics.


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