This morning I am watching the birds. At last, their bird feeder seems to be their own. Up to this point, the squirrels have been invading the property, scattering their seed on the ground. They didn't seem to mind it all that much. They just picked it up off the ground and ate it...they don't know the 5-second rule. My SO, on the other hand, really minded it. The squirrels became public enemy #1.
It began the first night we hung it on a really leafy branch. By morning, the squirrels had all but destroyed it. The cedar gazebo had been knocked to the ground - the cord chewed through - and the seed strewn. Tiny squirrel teeth marks scarred the wood. The bird feeder lay in pieces. The house could be salvaged, but a little remodeling was in order. One trip to the hardware store and Steve thought he had it handled. He put the feeder back together and hung it from a thick piece of steel wire. Then he filled it with seed. And he watched.
The next morning, while the feeder remained in tact, the squirrels and birds were again, feeding off of the ground. The squirrels it seemed, had found a way to dump it. The mound of seeds under the feeder grew day by day. Woodland creatures came to feast. Forrest, the baby cottontail and his mother among them. Steve filled the seed everyday - it was starting to be out of control.
Sneak attacks were also being made on the windchimes that we had placed in the trees. There was one casualty, as the squirrels chewed on their strings. All ended up on the ground, dead soldiers. We were able to resuscitate two of them, but they remain in sick bay, while we come up with a new location.
The BB gun was next and my SO was on a mission. He wouldn't kill them, he said. Just teach them a lessons. Well, the squirrels are slow learners. He popped them in the head, on the butt, but they came back for more. It was as if they had little squirrel armor keeping them safe. As if every morning they donned their little helmets and went to feed. "Hey, watch for the sniper at 6 o'clock."
Needless to say, this tactic was unsuccessful, so he decided to move birdseed central to a new location. And so last night, after a trip to the hardware store, he feeder was secured. It now sits on top of the cement post that once held a clothes line. It is suspended from a piece of metal that extends about 2 feet from the post. And from my position here by the window, the squirrels haven't figured out just how to get up there. Gathered at the bottom, they scheme and plan their next attack. Every once in awhile, one of them darts over to the remnants of the pile of seeds that remain on the ground where the feeder used to be for a light snack. And the birds, well they seem to enjoy the view and the seed from this new location.
And so I watch...and enjoy the show. Has the war possibly been won? Or is it just detente?