Left: Sciuridae carolinensis, plotting its next attack on my bird feeders
(Toledo, OH) I have come to a decision in life regarding the dozens of pesky rodents that inhabit the area in and around my teeming plot of urban wilderness.
I will learn to enjoy them.
I have engaged in a number of futile efforts to keep my small bird sanctuary free from squirrels, and these plans have all been thwarted by the Eastern gray squirrel.
Supposedly "bird-proof" feeders work for only a few days until the squirrels learn how to defeat the system. The latest feeder, hanging from a metal hook five feet above the ground, has been compromised simply by squirrels flinging themselves at the pole and gathering up the fallen bird food.
I tried to pursue a policy of appeasement with the wily critters, and set up a feeding trough away from the bird area replete with corn kernels and sunflower seeds. The squirrels, however, have decided that they have now merely been blessed with an extra place to dine.
My new dog Jimmy , a six-year-old sheltie we adopted, valiantly attempts to police the bird zone. He chases the squirrels up the nearest tree, even though he is scarcely bigger than them.
Jimmy, however, spends much of his time indoors, and the squirrels return to their nefarious activity as soon as they see the dog trot back to the house.
Thus, I resign myself to my fate as Almighty Human Provider of Seeds, and have adopted an open border strategy with regard to the rogue rodents, who join the neighborhood chipmunks in competition with my winged visitors for the food I supply.