Monday, July 21, 2014

Squirrels, Corn, and I Miss my Daddy

The only squirrels we saw when we were children was on the eating table, fried or surrounded by dumplings.  The squirrels respected my daddy's shotgun enough to stay hidden in the woods. 

Nowadays,  they are everywhere.  It is a constant battle with the bird feeders, one that I have lost up 'til now, but hope springs eternal.  I usually try not to get too steamed up about it, but they have made me fighting mad this time.

We live in a subdivision, with a lot that is roughly .6 acre.  After room for the house, the driveway, and the front yard, we have very little space to garden.  We have to carefully decide what we are going to grow to make the most of our tiny space.  We don't have enough to share with squirrels.   Above, you can see they took a tomato and discarded it after a few bites; maybe they didn't like it quite so green.  

This year, we decided to plant three small rows of corn, looking forward to a freezer stocked with corn-on-the-cob for the winter that always comes.  The little *#%#$!* squirrels completely destroyed it.

On July 4th, we noticed a couple of corn stalks were down.  The next day, there were about a dozen down, and we could see that the squirrels had been feasting.  The corn was not quite mature, but Hub gathered the biggest ears and we were able to freeze about sixty of them and have some left for supper.  He left the immature ones, hoping the squirrels would leave them alone until they were big enough to harvest.  NOT!!

We sat on the deck and watched as the squirrels destroyed the rest of the corn.  Our sweet little dog lay on the deck with us, not at all disturbed with the squirrels, although he will chase  robins and rabbits that happen by.  

The squirrels ate every little kernel on every stalk. We found cleaned cobs all over the back yard.  "I think they are taunting us," Hub said.

There have been many times that I have missed my Daddy since he passed away in 1985.  I've missed him at weddings, when our granddaughters were born, when I needed advice and information.  During the Independence Day holidays, while we listened to endless fireworks as we watched the squirrels destroy the corn, I remembered Daddy and his shotgun.

Daddy would not have put up with this squirrel foolishness.  He would have sat on the deck and picked the squirrels off one by one until they were all gone.  Our neighbors would have thought it was just more fireworks, and hopefully, we wouldn't have been arrested.  I miss my Daddy so bad.

I have no misguided hope that the squirrels will go away on their own.  Our scaly-back hickory tree has thousands of hickory nuts for them to collect later this fall.  Squirrel hunting season begins in October.  Any suggestions?