Monday, August 31, 2009

The squirrels, the antlers and me

For some strange reason the squirrels around here are becoming quite tame. I don't think I am encouraging it, but I admit I have not tried to trap or poison them so maybe they take that as a friendly sign. But when I go to use the facilities outdoors, invariably one of them is watching me from a tree. They usually talk to me (in squirrel language) and sometimes I talk back. Today a squirrel halfway up a nearby tree came all the way down to the lowest limb, about four feet off the ground, to talk to me. No idea what he was on about. Didn't seem upset or anything, just chatting. I think he realized I hadn't a clue what he was talking about, after a minute or so he went back up the tree and disappeared. It might be one of the youngsters, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the mother.

They still come into the porch to gnaw on the deer antlers. Every time I hear one of them I go out there and yell at it, although these days I don't even have to yell, I just open the door and look at it. The antlers are on the wall right beside the door.

So, they have this funny routine. When I first open the door the squirrel jumps off the antlers and scurries along a high shelf and out a hole in the wall above the outside door. Before its last leg has disappeared out the hole, the damn thing turns around and comes back! Comes right back to the antlers. I just stand there staring at it, it pauses to think about the wisdom of its actions, then it actually dithers, trying to decide whether to run away or go back to the antlers.

At which point I usually say something like, What, are you nuts? Get out of here! And it does.

This happens two or three times a day. Maybe twenty or thirty seconds a day of gnawing on antlers are all they need, what do I know. In any case the antlers are showing a bit of wear but they are still intact. I can always bring them indoors if it gets bad, but so far I am reluctant to find out what they'll go after if the antlers disappear.


Barbara Anne said...

What an entertaining sight you and they must be! Love your choice of words in asking the squirrel if he/she is nuts!! Too funny!!

I'd say the antler question will be answered sooner or later. They'll finish off the antlers sometime and then will be on to something else then. Should the antlers be saved? Not my say.


Annie said...

Hi Barbara Anne,

The antler visitors are kind of entertaining so I am not in a hurry to discourage them. No one has given me a clear answer to the question of should they be saved, so I'm not going out of my way to save them, I just enjoy watching the squirrels scurry off when I surprise them.

The truck fog problem turns out to be a burnt out heater core. Expensive to fix but since it stands in the way of driving in wet weather, I guess I have no choice. Essentially, antifreeze is leaking into the heater and then being spewed into the truck cab and coating the windshield, causing it to fog up and be impossible to wipe away. The distinctive smell is the give-away on this one. Probably breathing antifreeze is not such a good idea either.