Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Curses! Foiled again

In an ongoing effort to keep you apprised of the squirrel situation at our place, the saga continues today.

My husband really thought he had the problem licked here at the manor house on the hill. Ever since he’d strung wire from the corner of the house to the dogwood tree, and then attached the bird feeders to the wire, he’d kept the squirrels at bay on those feeders at least.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed seven weeks of squirrel-free bird feeders and views of nothing but aviary visitors. But you warned me . . . yes you did . . . you told me that the squirrels would figure it out eventually.

And I’m here to say that they have, the little rats.


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I was having my lunch in the breakfast nook yesterday, when I noticed a lot of commotion out at the feeders. I looked outside and was shocked to see that every feeder had a squirrel eating from it.

What the heck?!!

So I got the camera, hoping to catch them walking across the wire, balancing like acrobats, or better yet, find out how they were getting up there in the first place.


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I took several photos and captured them balancing on thin wire, which I found hard to believe. They are superb at this, these little varmints are.


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Do you see that pole on the right in the photo above?

My husband discovered today that this is how they’re getting up and down.

And so . . .


(are you ready for this?)


. . . he greased the pole.


Unfortunately, I have no photos of this. I was at work when he got out the axle grease and applied it to the pole, making it quite slippery.

And guess what?


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It didn’t stop them.

Their incriminating little paw prints were all over the pole, he told me. So down it came – and something else is now in its place.


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I failed to get photos of them traversing the wire, because right in the middle of the photo session, they suddenly scattered, most of them dropping directly to the ground. A small hawk had shown up and perched in the dogwood tree.


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Unfortunately, this is all I was able to capture before he flew off again.

: : :

I’m ok with this being as exciting as my life gets at the moment. And I’ll keep you posted as to the next course of action.

I mean, if you want me to, that is ~

Thanks for stopping by today. Your visits and comments mean so much to me. Have a great day, all.

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62 comments:

Hilary said...

After watching the antics of the squirrels at the studio, I have decided that the only way to keep them off the bird feeders, is to give them a feeder of their very own, a little ways away.
You just can't beat them. After all, what else do they have to do but figure it out all day?

Lori E said...

Tree rats for sure. I no longer have a feeder up because of them. Looks like you guys may eventually win the war but in the mean time I think this is going to go like the movie Caddy Shack. Lol.

Gale Wall said...

They are clever and could perhaps solve our world problems if we listened to them. Lol

missing the mom gene said...

Argh! I totally understand cause we are going through the same problem. My office window overlooks the feeders, so I'm up and down shooing them away like a crazy lady. Last few days I've placed some feeders in the trees away from the main ones and they have been sticking with them. I'm sure it won't last though. We also had a hawk swoop down and I got a pretty good picture of him. Fortunately, he didn't get a meal.
I blogged today about it if you get a chance to stop by. I'll keep watching to see if your husband comes up with a solution!! Good luck, Kate!
Reena

Fine Lines said...

I particularly like the photo of the one hanging upside down munching away!!!

Country Gal said...

I laughed my ass off at this post. I knew they wouldnt be fooled for long cause we have the same problem , were theres hungry squirrels theres trouble lol I put a bowl of sunflower seeds and whole peanuts out for them and that seems to keep them off the feeders so far. Yes I would love to find out the next step to your hubby's squirrel delema. Have a great day !

Country Gal said...

PS LOVED THE PHOTOS !

Snappy Di said...

I think I showed you a while back what Hubby did a couple of years ago with our feeder and we haven't had one single squirrel able to get to it. He really DOES NOT like squirrels... and neither does Rowdy so it seems. He's learned to tree them.

Di

TSannie said...

Hate the little buggers!

Mary Lou said...

Are you kidding me? How about barbed wire? they'd probably jump that too. Little creatures.

Dar said...

Ah, yes, the life of a squirrel is never boring. They are quite the acrobats and can jump incredibly high also. The only way I have found to combat them, is to put your feeders on a lone pole with a tin cone below the feeder so then cannot get around it. Just don't put an accessible one too close by, thus the ' jump.' Good luck saving seed. love the saga!
BlessYourHeart

beth said...

hey, my life is equally as fascinating....
and my parents...well i'm not sure what they would do if they didn't have their squirrels to keep them entertained....

did i ever show you the contraption we built that remains squirrel proof ?

Chrissykat said...

Every one has to eat or so the saying goes. I feed them their own food and they have no desire to bother the birdfeeders. Plus I just think they're hilarious. Saw my first oriole of the season yesterday. Time to get the grape jelly out!

becky up the hill said...

cayenne pepper..I hear they hate that...it's a thought!

Julie Gatherum-McGuire said...

This is so funny! (I'm sorry, not funny for your husband I'm sure, but your comment that this is as exciting as your life gets right now!) I can so relate! I personally get excited when Tide comes out with a new scent.

Enjoyed, as always, your photos. I will be curious to see if you find a squirrel-free method for feeding the birds. If you do, patent it!

Julie

Beyond My Garden said...

I'm glad you put your camera to work on these squirrels. They are fun to watch. I've had my own troubles with squirrels. See my link to see what happens when they get too smart.
http://beyondmygarden.blogspot.com/2010/10/peacemaker.html
Thanks for the smiles today. My husband, Jeff says to tell yours to check out the squirrel catapults on youtube.
nellie

Anonymous said...

lol the squirrel posts are hilarious! i too put out peanuts for them and they seem to leave the bird feeders alone....for the most part...
Karen Bremermann

Jean said...

Rats with tails, they are.

texwisgirl said...

i love that your hubby tried to grease the pole!!! LOL!!! i can't wait until you bring us the next piece of this saga...

spindrift,me said...

shoot! I was just thinking about greasing the pole that holds our feeder.... I love the ongoing feeder drama at your place. I am sure your husband is thinking of another remedy already. (How about greasing the wire??) ;o)

Deb said...

I enjoy watching the squirrels and their antics around here...but they can put away alot of seed that is for sure...I enjoy your hubbies imaginative ways to foil the little buggers...

JackDaddy said...

Better outside than inside your house. Watch your attic vents!!

Kris Watson said...

I guess I am a lot meaner than you all. I would attach a battery to the wire.

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Who knew those little stinkers could be such superb acrobats?!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I'm thinking an electric fence (which is really just the same wire you already have, electrified so it shocks (not electrocutes), usually used to pen in horses)might keep those pesky squirrels off that line. Of course it might keep the birds off it too...

I think the only real answer to keeping squirrels at bay involves George.

Andi said...

I too, have greased a pole!! Wheww, nice to know I am not alone!! Crisco to the pole stopped the chipmunk we had.

I also got in big trouble from my son this weekend,when I had lent my sister my camera. A hawk had landed on our gazebo frame on the deck, and he was upstairs shooting out the window (don't ask) and was about 3 feet from it. He wants a picture really badly,and my camera was gone!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

They are nasty little creatures! Brilliant to grease the poles!

Ashley said...

Like little ninjas they are! First time reader of your blog, love it and the photos too!

Hilary said...

I love squirrels. Their tenacity is inspiring regardless of how frustrating it can be. Smart little farts.

Tammie said...

How many squirrels are we talking about? Maybe it is best to stick out a few dried corn cobs and peanuts. Think of Alvin.....never mind, they were chipmunks not squirrels.

forgetmenot said...

Too funny!! I'm sure your husband isn't out of ideas yet--but this is quite a challenge, isn't it!!! Beautiful yellow tulips--so nice to have "colorful" things to take pictures of now. Have a good week. Mickie :)

Caroline said...

What stinkers! I can't believe they found a way up the greased pole...kinda wish I had that kind of determination!!!

Dyche Designs said...

He, he, he, I used vaseline on a pole once which worked for a little while but they always find a way.

Karen said...

LOL... ooooh boy. How's the fishing pole working out?

mrs mediocrity said...

oh my. perhaps you should just give in and start a squirrel circus. you could even make them cute little tutus and maybe get them a unicycle for the high wire act.

drats. there goes your husband's millions.

you make me smile.

Nurse Nancy said...

Isn't it amazing how crafty these cirtters are?

Mental P Mama said...

I just LOLed. No, seriously.

phylliso said...

How funny! You need to put the feeder on a pole away from trees & invest in a sqirrel baffel.It`s a round disk-type thing that goes on you pole so they can`t get past it to the feeder.I have had to attach 2-one below & one above the feeder & it works!You can buy them online at different places,I believe audubon has them.phyllis

WPgirl said...

Looking foward to seeing the next course of action.

Mary said...

OMG, I just about bust a gut. He greased the pole?!

Maybe he should spread hot pepper flakes in the grease... would that discourage the little buggers?

Can't wait to hear about the next skirmish. Fab pix, too. :)
xoxo

The Weaver of Grass said...

You can't help but admire the cersatility of the squirrels though can you?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Fabulous photos; they do look like rats though, don't they!! We don't see many here, perhaps it's the dogs and cat that put them off, I don't know.

CJ xx

Kerri said...

OH I LOVE hearing the ongoing saga of the squirrels! And truly - the do make for some wonderful photo ops :)
Always a pleasure to visit my friend!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Oh my naughty squirrel. I only have a few and they don't do much damage my big problem is with raccoons and they are horrible!!!

Wonderful photos, I have a telephoto lens and I still haven't learned to use it...I am presuming that's how you got these great shots. I think I really need to get it out and give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration and thank you also for stopping by to visit me.

Carolynn said...

I'm sorry, but I can't help cheering the ingenuity and perseverance of these little rascals. *grin* Such daring do! Such feats of strength and agility! I can't help loving that they were all acting in concert, executing their assault on the bird feeders at the same time and narrowly escaping the Feds...well, it may have looked like a hawk to you. I'm sure I heard a few strains of the Mission Impossible theme off in the distance...

The intrepid Squirrel Squad. All they need is a mask & cape to put the finishing touch on the scenario.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I'm seeing obstacles in the future like that Ninja show.....

Those sneaky rats.

MrsB said...

I did not read thru all comments - so apologies if redundant.
I got a great feeder ($100) from Wildbirds Unlimited.
It is called The Eliminator - I know it is a lot of moola - but I wasted that much in bird seed over a year.
It is weighted for the birds you want and closes tight for anything heavier. I also use a clear baffle over it and it hangs in a dogwood tree. And you might just try a baffle over your feeder first to see if that helps - I LOVE my Eliminator!

Linda said...

They are crafty little buggers, aren't they? Check this guy out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZBzIJF6pNg

Daryl said...

they are so smart ... and agile ... and I suspect they will win every time .. unless you hire the hawk to stand guard ... I bet he'd work for peanuts .. ;-)

sharon said...

crack me up!! That is so freakin hilarious!! Little Terds. great pictures, tell a good story!!

Maureen said...

You should get safflower seeds. It's bit more expensive but the squirrels don't like it. Most of the usual birds that eat sunflower do though. I no longer have squirrels in my feeders and I'm using about a 1/3 of what I used to use.

Louisiana Belle said...

Cute photos. You gotta give the little critters credit for their ability to overcome obstacles. Persistent little boogers, too.

Jennifurla said...

This post cracked me up, I was happy to brought along for the squirrels journey! LOL

Jeanne Walker said...

LMFAO!! Too fun-na!! I wish after a comment we could 'like' it! Besides you being so hilarious, Kate, so many of the reader comments had me holding my belly!! I particularly like Kris Watson's comment, Daryl's and also mrs mediocrity's!!

As the saga continues...........

Donna S. said...

That is hilarious! Between the squirrels & outside cat our neighbor got I don't fill my feeder anymore. I didn't feel right with the cat sitting under there stalking the birds.

michelle said...

So I know I will be lynched for saying this but "aw man! he is such a cute little critter and so spry too!" I am sure your husband will find a way to foil him soon!! Good luck!

Country Girl said...

Nah, you won't be lynched, Michelle. It's all in fun, anyway. Squirrels are sort of cute.

~ C.G.

JaneK said...

that's the only kind of excitement that I want in my life right now. the current drama going on is getting old; so thanks for sharing your excitement :)

The Village Queen said...

Too funny. One trick I saw on another blog was clear soda bottles with a small hole punched in the bottom, strung on the wire. They spin when the squirrel steps on them and they get dumped off. Like a log rolling. Anyway worth a try. I tried safflower, got better birds but the hungry buggers were happy to learn to like it. Now they get thier own bowl of sunflower seeds on the ground and they leave the feeder alone. Good luck husband!

Anonymous said...

It's a bit pricey but using Vick's vaporub to grease the pole should slow them down; they don't like the eucalyptus on their paws.

Jan's camera said...

Ha, I so enjoy these squirrel stories. They never cease to amaze me. They are so darn smart! I wish they could figure out that it is not cool to run in front of a moving vehicle. Hilary, above, is right -- what else do they have to do all day? Keep the stories coming Kate, we are enjoying them. Thanks for sharing the beautiful spring photos. Here in New England it takes a bit longer to see those buds.

Lili said...

Oh no they DIDent! Oh yes it looks like they DID. Darn squirrels! xo ~Lili