Last week we went to the garden store. You may recall that one of my goals was to get a bird feeder because I love watching the great birds we have here in Northern Virginia. If you've been bird-feeder shopping lately (and who hasn't?), you will know that there are 801 kinds of feeders, and 800 of them say, "Squirrel Proof!" Which made me laugh out loud, because the reason that we were actually at the garden store? To buy food for the squirrel-feeder that Jason's Dad made him for his birthday. Yup, we actually try to feed squirrels in this family!
And the squirrels love Don's feeder!
I don't know much about squirrel lifestyle, but this appears to be a family with two adults and two youngsters. One of the adults sits up on the feeder and eats and throws stuff off while the other adult eats from the ground and the two little ones run around and chase each other and stuff their faces in between fights. Here are two of them on the ground under the feeder:
They're terribly fun to watch. And frankly, I don't know how they are all not 15 pounds each by now, because they eat constantly. They never run away to bury things for winter, they just sit and eat and eat, and will go through five pounds of food in a day and a half. For crying out loud, I am a full-grown adult human and if I ate five pounds in a day and a half I would gain eleven pounds; where can I buy the metabolism of a squirrel?
Anyway, notice all the yellow things? That's corn, and apparently squirrels don't like corn. That'll come in handy in a minute.
When the food runs out, we can't restock it right away... I mean, jeez, squirrels, do you think that we're made of money around here? For crying out loud, it's not like squirrel food grows on trees or something! Oh, wait.... acorns? Hmm, so, actually, it does. Anyway.... So when the food runs out, the squirrels come over to my bird-feeder because they are greedy little things:
So it was for this reason that I had my camera out and was taking pictures through the sliding glass door into the back yard (the bird feeder is hanging from a hook attached to the railing on the deck).
Now, let me say that we do not live in the woods. We live in suburbs, more or less, 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C. We have an H.O.A. and everything; we just happen to have some undeveloped, wooded property behind our house (which was a major factor in our decision to buy this house, actually). So imagine my surprise when all of a sudden this lovely appeared!
To give you an idea of perspective, here is a wide-angle view that includes the lines in the sliding glass door and the deck railing:
Holy canoli! What an awesome surprise! She just stood there and looked at us as we looked at her and said, "Holy crap!" and "Oh my gosh!" and "Wow!" over and over to each other, until a squirrel running up and down the tree behind her startled her and she wandered off.
And I must admit, watching the deer and the squirrels and the myriad of birds flouncing about (can birds flounce?), I felt a bit like Snow White. Jason even started singing, "Hi Ho, Hi Ho..." I almost got out our broom and sang while I danced around the kitchen sweeping. Almost.
We think that she was attracted to our backyard by all the corn on the ground under the feeder. Needless to say we will not be changing the mix for the squirrels! :)