Squirrels, Squiddles, SQRLS

image is a photograph of "spats" the grey squirrel perched with all four feet on a porch railing looking directly into the camera with what looks like a curious smile. he has a white belly, grey fur with rusty-brown  tips. his paws have red-brown fur that look like spats.

I have been having a war with the squirrels for a few years now.

When I first planted my garden over two decades ago, they mostly left it alone. But as the years have passed, they have become more and more aggressive. I have tried absolutely everything you can possibly imagine to deter them, but to no effect.

image of britches the eastern grey squirrel who is so named because he has sleek black fur on the front half of his body and fluffy grey fur on his butt and back legs. he is giving a side-eye to the camera

Last year I built a cage for my veg garden to keep them out. It worked wonders for my veg, but they decapitated every single flower before it had a chance to bloom. Yes, they have access to lots of water and other things. But mine is the only garden in an urban area of concrete and unkept lawns.

With the cage in place and the veggies safe, I decided to try bribery.

I bought some peanuts. I started sharing with the blue jays and yes, the little treerats.

image of Brownie, Downtown Brown, the brown "eastern grey" squirrel with a nut in her mouth and a happy look on her face. She is perched on a picnic table with grass in the background.

The deal seems to be working. They’ve left the garden alone. Mostly. They occasionally uproot something while burying one of the peanuts, but nothing has been killed, beheaded or permanently damaged.

I’m waiting for fall when they prove how happy they are by making another dozen of themselves. At which time I will likely resort to rehoming a few of them. But until then, I’m having fun getting to know them and they seem to enjoy posing for the camera. Not to mention getting a couple of peanuts a day …

image of nibi the water squirrel sitting on a picnic table bench looking expectantly into the camera.

Wish me, and them, luck in our new peace.

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