Outsmarted

Invaders: Part 1

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Of all the animals that live on or visit our property, squirrels are the designated fair weather friends. The first time a squirrel showed up was coincidentally the first year our pecan tree produced pecans. After about twenty years of growth we didn’t figure on ever growing any, but about the time we noticed a few on the tree, we saw the squirrels hanging around. Go figure.

That first fall we had a pair of squirrels. As soon as our dog came out the back door she would race toward the squirrels who would easily run up the tree. One would hightail it into the branches, but the other would Relish clinging to the trunk just out of reach of the dog’s leaps and chattering at her. I imagined it saying, Na na-na na naaa! (Or nanny nanny boo boo, if that was your childhood taunt.)

The squirrels typically arrive with the pecans and disappear again soon after they pick and bury them all. We have yet to eat any of them.

This year we again have a squirrel around. The pecans came a little earlier and the squirrel came a little late. Maybe that’s what inspired it to look around for other food sources. We noticed the driveway pile of birdseed disappearing a little faster.

For years my husband has been replenishing the driveway birdseed from a small metal garbage can he keeps in the garage. The lid is loose but is heavy enough to stay on, and except for the occasional marauding raccoon, nothing ever gets in it. Until now.

One night our latest squirrel figured out how to maneuver the lid off just enough to get into the seed. The next morning the lid was half off and there were scattered sunflower seed hulls on the floor.

My husband replaced the lid and added a brick on top.

In less than 24 hours, the squirrel figured out to get that off too.

I think my husband relishes the challenge. Now he has a large and smaller brick on top of the can and a leaf blower lying at an angle to block access. For now the seed is safe.

Until the squirrel figures this out too.

Makes you wonder. Is he outsmarting the squirrel or is the squirrel outsmarting him?

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