Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goin’ for a ride in the car car...

I just spent a fun 10 minutes or so on You-Tube watching and listening to variations of Woody Guthrie’s Car Song as I thought about writing about the many trips I have made in the past week hauling squirrels to their new forever homes.

We did not have a problem with squirrels when we first moved here because there was a pasture of several acres between our house and the neighbor’s woods behind the house. There were a few trees scattered here and there, but it was mostly bare of brush because the former owners had brush hogged it regularly. We also hired a man with a brush hog to come in and keep it cleared, for a while, but then we stopped. We wondered what would happen if the neighbors decided to bulldoze the woods and turn it into pasture for cattle. We decided we wanted our own woods.

And gradually, the woods began marching toward the house, and trees around the house began to grow. And pretty soon the squirrels started showing up to eat sunflower seeds along with the birds.

Squirrels wreak havoc with bird feeders and bird feeding. They have destroyed several of my bird feeders. They are responsible for ripping up the roofing paper that I put down on bird feeder platform to protect the wood from the rain.

Sunflower seeds are just too expensive to feed squirrels and besides, I wanted to watch birds and not squirrels, so we bought a small trap and began trapping them.

I loaded them into the car and drove them to their new forever home at a nearby abandoned campground.

Last year I made squirrel stew in the crockpot, which was very good. Squirrel tastes a lot like chicken, but eating the stew was not a very pleasant experience because of the many, many small bone in addition to the associated thrill of biting down on small bits of metal from the birdshot.

Just like there is never just one mouse or cockroach in the house, there is never just one squirrel.

Two years ago, I thought I had "a couple" of squirrels, and I hauled off 20. The next year, it wasn't that many but I didn't keep count.

I began trapping again last week, and so far I have trapped and moved 10 squirrels. And there is still at least 1 more squirrel, and I am watching it right now consume one seed after another.

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