Now that we have had some cool weather (80s F daytime, 60s nights)
the chipmunks and squirrels and of course VOLES (grrrr) are out and
about more, and the squirrels are doing something really weird.
They dig out a little scooped place in the rose bed or at the base
of one of the big old oaks, then they leap like 3 feet up in the air
and flip when they hit the ground and flop around. They seem to take
turns doing this and wind up on their bellies with their tails sort of
laying down flat on their backs. They appear to be having a great time.
I have seen this before but it was in the spring and I attributed it
to mating behavior. But they don't mate in the fall, do they?
They may have been worshiping a deity, but I think it is more likely
that they were practicing for the upcoming Squirrel Olympics. The
gymnastics competition is extremely fierce. The russian squirrels,
under the guidance of Bella Traversetrees usually takes the gold, but
this year the US team is determined to beat them. While the gymnastics
competition will be tough, the US team is heavily favored in the car
darting slalom, drain pipe skeleton, and bird feeder--crack the code and
eat biathlon. Of course, its anyone's guess as to whether team mates
may be disqualified for the use of catnip or poppy seeds.
Watch me pull a rabbit outa my hat.......Nut-in up
m'sleeve....................."again????" yer a quick wit
Salty......................madgardener who had to use her son, St. Dharma to
decode yer answer.....................
Oh, man! Really? I wonder if this "ppullueaneankal" has anything to do
with the great big old piles of *ahem* that look like Moose Poo I'm
finding in the vicinity of the Squirrel Flipping Launch Pads?
Thanks Salty, that explains a lot.
Just one more question: why do I keep finding my landscaping timbers
rearranged in a railroad track pattern? And who is that dark guy with the
moustache and cape who runs away snickering just before I hear a geeky
voice piping "I'M COMING NELL!?"
From my experience with voles and Rozol, if any of your neighbors put out
any sort of rodent poison (rats can be a real problem in city
neighborhoods) the squirrels appear to think this is some sort of
delicacy and they will move mountains to get to it. (So, this is why you
may not have any squirrels.) I placed the pellets inside the vole holes,
then put heavy stones/buckets etc on top,but the squirrels worked hard and got
to them. The second
time I found a big fat cute squirrel dead I had to give up the Rozol.
I think it might be a function of the masses of stray dogs that use to
roam the neighborhood (they've mostly been rounded up, but the
squirrels haven't repopulated). It could be all of the cats as well.
We don't have many rats (never seen one around here, but that doesn't
mean that they're not here) but we have plenty of field mice and other
small rodents. Fortunately, my cat, which is mostly an outdoor cat
that I adopted, has taken care of most of them on my property.
From my local paper:
From Panama City, FL (AP)
-- Squirrelly behavior is common this time of year, state conservation
The sight of a squirrel with lumps all over it's body, jumping in
the air, rolling on the ground and generally acting nutty is no cause
for alarm, Lt. Stan Kirkland of the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission said Wednesday.
"When People call they describe these unusual antics, as well as
large lumps on the squirrel's body that appear to be cancerous
tumors," Kirkland said. "In fact, they are cause by warbles, which
are bot fly larvae growing just under the squirrel's skin."
Once the larvae emerge, the squirrel generally recovers without
further incident, but the insects can be a real annoyance while
In the Southeast, gray squirrels, rabbits, and other rodents are
commonly affected by bot fly warbles, Kirkland said. Horses and
cattle also sometimes get them.
Neither the larvae nor the affected animals are a threat to humans
or pets, Kirkland said.
Strange. When I lived in a rental house in Gainesville, Florida for a
year and kept my bamboos in large pots (so that I could move them onto
the land I eventually bought), the squirrels ate the new shoots. I bought
various rodent poisons. They remained untouched and I had to make wire
cages around the bamboos to have any new shoots at all to make new culms.
Your squirrels may vary.
:) I placed the pellets inside the vole holes,
:) then put heavy stones/buckets etc on top,but the squirrels worked hard and
got to them. The second
:) time I found a big fat cute squirrel dead I had to give up the Rozol.
You can probably have luck protecting your squirrels by
placing bait blocks for rats inside heavy plastic bait
stations that will secure the bait inside instead of
loose bait to be dug up. I have plenty of customers who
wish the squirrels would feed on the rat bait.
Have you tried exploiting the squirrels? Like videotape them and send it
to "America's Funniest (Home) Videos". Or you probably could make more
money by wrapping one in aluminum foil, give it a plastic fork, videotape
it and send to Fox's "When Animals Attack!".
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