Sunday, October 4, 2009

Squirrel tales

The female who gnaws the antlers and her mate (I'm assuming "mate", but who knows?) have moved into my porch, behind the stacked firewood. There is no way I can shoo them out of there. I see them coming in with great mouthfuls of nesting material, and I hear them chattering behind the firewood. Little buggers.

I made one last attempt to get them out yesterday and I do believe the verdict is in, it failed.

I could trap them but...

What I did yesterday morning was nail cedar shingles over the two major holes in the porch that they use regularly. They were quite upset by all the hammering, I threw in some extra hammering on the wall next to their nest, yelling, Get out! Get out! I don't want you here, get out! I could hear one or more of them indoors squeaking and scurrying about in what I believe was consternation, and another one of them sat in a tree watching me hammer, squeaking her dismay loudly.

Later, I caught the female gnawing on the antlers and shooed her away; she attempted to exit by her usual route and discovered the way blocked, went on to the second exit and found it also blocked. Then she looked a little panicked. She actually ran straight at me in a last desperate search for another hole, found one, and was gone. If there is one thing this porch has, it's holes, lots of 'em.

Still later in the day I heard two of them knocking around over by the shed (literally knocking around, I could hear things falling off shelves) and thought, Oh good, they are scouting out a new nest location. They can have the shed, I don't care about that.

I went away for a couple of hours and came back. I needed to pee and was crouching on the ground behind the house, when two squirrels approached me. They came down a tree trunk, one at a time, watching me the entire time. They stopped a few feet away from me and just stood there. It was very clear to me that they were begging for their old place back. They were promising to behave. They seemed very sincere but I don't know how much you can trust a squirrel, sincere or otherwise.

But at any rate they're back. And they do seem better behaved. They used to quarrel a lot and generally carry on noisily behind the stacked fire wood, now they are very quiet. They don't come near my stuff, but they do occasionally come out from behind the firewood and look at me. There's been no gnawing on the antlers.

Of course the trap is always an option. The trouble is that I will soon be gone and with all the holes in the porch, there is nothing preventing a return, or a new set of squirrels moving in. So what's the point.

And I counted three of them; I just don't even want to know what kind of arrangement they have going on back there.


Barbara Anne said...

You are a marvelous storyteller! I'm still laughing! I quite agree that well-behaved squirrels who are quiet beat those unknown types who might move in. I suppose your new skill is squirrel behaviorist. Ya think?!

When do you depart for points west? I know you love being in NS so this is a bittersweet time as the days there dwindle down.

Be good to you!


Wisewebwoman said...

You need them to sign a lease, promising good orderly behaviour and no drinking and carousing after 10.00 p.m. Also mention adults only building, no pets or children. That should keep them in line in their little menage a trois.

Annie said...

Oh yes, a lease agreement, that's sure to do it! Like those little buggers would keep their word on such a thing... Can you imagine me hauling them into Small Claims Court for breaking their lease agreement?

So far so good though, they are dead quiet after dark, and pretty subdued in the daytime. My landlady suggests moving the antlers to the shed, I may do that when I no longer get entertainment value from them.

Barbara Anne, my plans are still a bit vague, if not non-existent. I hope to beat the snow but am not committed to it. Mid to end of the month?

Rain Trueax said...

We have this problem with gray diggers and I do use the live trap. What I do, since we have enough land, is trap them, carry them to the back, which is about 1/4 mile from the house, and hope they will stay there. I trap them all, one at a time, and back they go. The ones down by the barn, they have a tougher opponent as my husband will shoot them to keep their numbers down. Rodents carry disease and I know we can't have too many but even with the extra work (and those traps with mad squirrels sometimes two at a time) aren't easy to carry). I figure by taking them all back to the same place, they can form a new colony-- i hope.