Squirrels – Outta Here

This afternoon, while sitting on top of the now gutted pumpkin, Nutti made a bad move and the pumpkin toppled over. For me, that was the last straw.

I went out, picked the pumpkin up by its stem and heaved it into the woods near the house. Steffie, who was pulling out of the driveway at the time, was upset. She still sees squirrels as cute and not the ‘tree rats’ they really are.

I’m sure, off our front steps, the pumpkin will make good eating for the other creatures who roam this neighborhood after dark. No doubt Nutti and his cohort (recently name by Steffie) Fuzzee will find it tomorrow for one last snack.

Squirrel Myths Debunked

I woke up late this morning and came downstairs to find Helaine, Steffie and my camera. Nutti, our resident pumpkin eating squirrel, had taken up his position again, on our front steps. The pumpkin he had been gnawing at for days now had a squirrel sized hole to the middle.

Nutti (OK – even I feel sort of stupid writing that name… but it’s now his) stands on his hind legs, cocks his head in both directions and slithers into the center of the pumpkin. All that’s visible from the outside is his ever expanding waist and tail.

Within ten or fifteen seconds he’s out and then on top of the pumpkin. My guess is, this gives him a commanding view to protect his bounty. He doesn’t seem to eat inside the pumpkin but comes out with a seed which he chews open and eats.

He is not a particularly neat squirrel. The steps around the pumpkin are full of discarded seeds and pumpkin bits. When he drops something while eating, it stays where it lands. Though we have a full supply in the house, Nutti has never come to the door and asked for a napkin.

There is one grooming move that did surprise me. A few minutes ago he moved off the pumpkin and crossed the driveway to our front lawn. He stood on the lawn while rubbing the side of his face against the curb. There was probably some sticky pumpkin innards stuck to his face that he wanted off.

Earlier I had written and others had chimed in about Nutti’s adherence to the ‘only child syndrome.’ When another squirrel approached, Nutti had shooed him away. Blog readers wrote to say squirrels were territorial and did not play well with others.

However, this morning that was shot! I got a picture of Nutti and another squirrel both eating from the pumpkin at the same time. Later, Nutti did force the interloper away. Still, for a while there was world peace among squirrels.

At some point this weekend we’re going to have to move the pumpkin into the woods. It is becoming an eyesore. And, I don’t want a squirrel hanging around like he owns the place when trick or treaters come tomorrow.

Judging by outward appearances, there’s also the chance the pumpkin will lose its structural integrity and collapse. I hope Nutti has insurance.

Squirrel Update

This was a very busy day. We drove to Boston so Steffie could take a look at Emerson College. She was very favorably impressed.

I have a lot to say and a lot of photos to post. To do it justice, because I’m so tired right now, it will go up tomorrow.

In the meantime, our pumpkin eating squirrel is still with us! We didn’t have the heart to remove his food supply, so it continues to sit on our top step.

A few updates. First, Helaine called me to the front window to let me know the squirrel has ended eating around the middle and has moved to a new area higher up. He continues to eat the meat without breaking through to the seeds.

Second, as you can see from the picture, he doesn’t mind posing. Sure, he’ll run away if I open the door, but tapping on the window glass doesn’t scare him away. He turned his head to me and just stared.

Third, he now has a name. Stefanie has christened him “Nutti.” Please note the hip and happening spelling, substituting an ‘i’ where a ‘y’ would normally sit.

Finally, as we were leaving today Helaine walked up to the pumpkin and turned it 180&#186, so the uneaten portion was facing the broad area of our front steps. When I asked her why, she said she was worried about the squirrel losing his balance as he went around the back to continue his feast. Helaine is much, much too considerate.

More Nutti news later. Bulletins at once.

Squirrel Versus Pumpkin Revisited

Monday, I wrote about the squirrel who was attacking our Halloween pumpkin.

If you get over the fact that these are little furry rats who carry disease and are generally pains in the butt, the pictures were cute. The pumpkin was ruined for this Halloween.

Since our trash pickup isn’t until Friday and not wanting this pumpkin to rot in the house, we left it on our front step. Of course to the squirrel, this meant open season on pumpkins continued. He has not let us down.

Here’s a look at the pumpkin taken a few minutes ago. I guess the squirrel is more interested in the outer meat of the pumpkin than the seeds inside. Or, maybe, he understands how sticky and matted he’d get if he made it to the gooey stuff!

In any event, he’d better eat quickly. We’ll pack the pumpkin up and leave it with the trash late tomorrow night.

Squirrels Love Pumpkins

As I walked downstairs this morning I told Helaine I had seen a squirrel standing on our front steps next to a pumpkin she had put out. The pumpkin was bought to be carved, though it hasn’t been yet.

It’s not unusual to see squirrels, especially this time of year. Normally, they’re moving around, gathering acorns. This year acorns are in short supply.

A few minutes later, Helaine called to me. “You’ve got to see this!” On the step, the squirrel was eating the pumpkin. He had gnawed in and there was now a hole large enough to stick his face in.

Another squirrel came by and the two fought. It seemed this pumpkin, larger than both of them combined and with plenty of room for more holes, should have been enough. Squirrels must be territorial.

We get pumpkins and sit them out on our front step every year. Usually, I carve them for Halloween. You would think a carved pumpkin with its smell more easily carried on the wind would be a more compelling attraction, but we’ve never seen anything like this before.

Attracting more squirrels is bad. This pumpkin will have to go and I suppose we’ll have to rethink the whole pumpkin thing next year.