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More surprises in the squirrel battle

By Rich Glennie
Well, I thought I had seen it all in my battles with neighborhood squirrels. I discovered recently, there is more to see.
It all began with our recent snowstorm that dumped at least 20 inches of the white stuff onto the nearly dried-out yards in town. It crushed our hopes for spring … again. In what seemed like an instant, the spring-like scenery vanished under the new powder of white.
It was fascinating to watch the snowbanks grow as the day and then days wore on during the storm. It turned out to be a three-day blizzard accompanied by gusty winds all three days. The snow drifts were impressive, especially around our bird feeders. Our concern was over the squirrels’ ability to get easy access to those feeders as the banks grew taller.
With metal baffles on the feeder poles, we have managed to keep the buck-toothed vermin at bay. They look but have yet to figure out how to circumvent the baffle.
But the growing height of the wind-driven snow drifts eventually made walking on the snow bank for the furry pests as easy as a hungry diner walking through a buffet line.
Well, there is something in my DNA that won’t let me allow these fur-balls to gorge themselves off my bird feeders. I just can’t stand it.
We had a brilliant idea. Move the feeder.
So we did. We moved the feeder to an old clothesline hook attached to the side of the garage. It was well out of leaping range of these olympic-like “frats.” Never saw a squirrel leap that high, so we felt safe.
Well, that was our mistake. Never underestimate the ability of squirrels to figure out another way.
First of all, squirrels are worthy opponents. Second, they are persistent. Third, they are … ah heck, that’s enough credit for these dang scoundrels.
We were looking out our back window after the storm and stopped in our tracks. A dang squirrel was sitting on the bird feeder munching away, six feet off the ground with no tree in sight. How the …?
We chased him away and then watched. The squirrel, believe it or not, climbed up the wooden frame of the garage door and stretched out to attach itself to the feeder. Right up the gol-darn door frame like a lumberjack scaling a tree! Wow!
We were speechless for a moment before our son Andrew went out and started pelting the furry bandit with snowballs. Never even fazed “old Bucktooth.” In fact, it looked like the squirrel thought Andrew was throwing food instead of snowballs. It looked like they were playing. Arrgh!
So now the battle of wits has entered a new phase. The ball, or in this case, the seed, is now in my court. Too bad it’s still too cold to uncoil the garden hose.
But time and patience are the keys, and in retirement, I have a lot of the former, but lack the latter.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.