Second October Blog

Second October Blog.

Grey Sqirrel: Friend or Foe?

Archetypal woodland creature/ secret thief and plunderer of suburban gardens.

Clothed in the PR of goodwill: a Beatrix Potter and childrens’ storybook memory, but in reality, nightime marauder. In daytime, he blatantly raids our gardens.

The majority of suburban home owners look on them benevolently as partly, a kind of country blessing, partly a cute furry RAT! But they tear up gardens, steal newly planted bulbs, raiding fruits and any nut trees that abound, erc.

The likes of Ms Potter and other writers, see this creature as cute, turning a blind eye to their wicked and covetous nature. But I can side with Farmer McGregor trying to rid his crops of this stealthy gatherer of autumnal bounty.

What has brought on this vehemous feeling, you may ask? Why, when they steal my newly planted and somewhat expensively bought and especially searched for, spring bulbs. Not to mention the filling of containers and the careful design of the planting arrangement so that taller bulbs are at the back and so on to crocuses at the front, daffodils and hyacinths inbetween – this arrangement now TOTALLY RUINED!!!!!!

How many bulbs still remain? I can in no wise tell! What I do know is that it hurt my back, even sitting down to do the job, never mind the cost. I have also had to move the containers closer to the house, with rain coming down on me, trying to cover the tops so that the bulbs could not be dug up again. As the bulbs were only recently planted, they are only just sending out the first tiny root tendrils. The covers will not yet have an adverse effect. Might even keep a degree of chill away for a while so long as I water them. That not being necessary for a few days due to a lot of rain yesterday.

I will have to apologise though to any local felines. The hole and heap in one container looked remarkably like those dug by cats for toiletry purposes. No, it really did, and my fingers were sore after touching some of the soil. (I did not have any gloves on, my mistake!). The bulbs really should be replanted, but not sure some of them could be discerned as to which was which. So, they shall remain where they now live, provided they are not moved a second time by sneaky fingers!

My daughter spotted the culprit sitting in front of a small pot this morning, its fingers reaching up to the rim, obviously searching for the older crocus now living there (I accidentally moved them, not realising they were living in this pot – having been planted some years ago). She banged on the glass but it nonchelantly moved a short way down the garden, then sat with its bushy tail curled up as if nothing was going on. Another banging session and it toddled off, totally unworried by the strange noise.

Had this creature not purloined my bulbs, it could have gone about its business and I would have enjoyed watching it skimming through the cherry tree branches, its tail flicking up and down in a carefree manner. And, when what is left of my bulb display has settled down, put out roots and solidified the soil around them, I may relax and wish them well. Until then, I will be in the lookout, trying to catch them in their antics.

Be safe, be aware. You may have squirrels eyeing up where you plant your bulbs!!!



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