Spotted today in our back yard: a black squirrel. Sadly, he had disappeared into next door’s yard by the time I thought to grab the camera.

May is here…

…and that means it’s roach season again. Our first wood roach of the year just visited. They live outside in the trees, which are quite delightfully wet right now due to the ongoing thunderstorm. There’s also lots of nice damp mulch out there, I bet they enjoy that too. Yes, I admit it, I squealed. While I’m getting used to the little buggers by now, the first one of the season is always an unpleasant surprise.


It has taken a long time and lots of nuts, but today it finally happened: our local alpha squirrel, Black Tip, took a peanut out of my fingers. I’m wondering if the other squirrels watching him have the intellectual capacity to reason that they can do it too, or whether I’ll need to train them separately.

Symbol of peace? Tell it to the squirrels

We now have 3 female squirrels visiting us who are either pregnant or nursing. Today one was feeding when a second turned up with two young squirrels in tow. The latecomer was chased off, and the youngsters proceeded to spend most of the rest of the afternoon playing in the treetops. I seem to have started an interspecies conflict, however. One of the doves has worked out that there’s often sunflower seed to be had on the rear deck.


There’s a pair of cardinals that unexpectedly began to visit us each day. Obviously, I named them Biggles and Fang. Amongst their weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the pope, and pointy orange beaks. Unfortunately, they’re small, and tend to fly away if I go anywhere near them with a camera, so no pictures yet. However, Biggles sometimes attacks his reflection in the window, so maybe some day…

Tooth and claw (and beak)

On Friday, I was gazing out into the back yard when I saw a hawk swoop towards the house, turn to the side at the last moment, and try to grab a squirrel from the fence. I’m glad to report that he failed, but the squirrel was clearly very disturbed by his near death encounter. He leapt onto the trunk of the nearest tree, and called out—a type of sound I hadn’t heard from a squirrel before.

Who was that masked critter?

I’ve encountered another of those real life true stories so bizarre that in a year’s time I’m probably going to think I dreamed it. Herman Göring’s Nazi raccoons are invading Europe. I think that’s even better than the Fanta story.

Squirrel video

The first one shown is Blacktip, who we haven’t seen in months. Maybe this time he’s gone for good. He never did learn to leap at the corn.

Squirrel discoveries

Things squirrels eat: Corn. Nuts. More corn. Sunflower seeds. Peanuts in their shells. Pecans. Tomatoes. Even more corn. Strawberries. Things squirrels will not eat: Organic peanut butter. Corn Tortillas†. Guacamole. Marshmallows. Celery. Carrots. †However, they will carry them away to use as nesting material. We’ve had our first sighting of new young squirrels. They have been stumbling around in the trees and bushes and practicing jumping, still learning how to be a squirrel.