Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wildlife




As some of you know from posts a while back, we have a good sized piece of property that is heavily covered with trees. It is, right now, at it's prettiest. With all the rain and not too many days of relentless heat, it looks like a forest out there. All the vines have grown up and around and into the trees and bushes. Maybe it's something rebelling from the German in me but I am in love with the garden at this time. If my Oma was alive she would have gone at this garden with a ruthless physical zeal until everything was in its proper place and trimmed to perfection. Maybe it's the small portion of me that is Native American that loves to see the wild take over. That could be the reason for my joy in seeing the lush honeysuckle vine that has only recently appeared outside my bedroom window and bolted into the surrounding bushes. Maybe it's the reason I am thrilled by the volunteer wisteria vines that have taken hold and even popped up at the bottom of the driveway. Who knows?

For any of these reasons, and because they come along with it, and because you must take the good with the bad, we have squirrels by the score. A few years ago there was a beautiful bush outside the kitchen window, the offspring of which are growing along side of where it once lived happily. No one seems to know what kind of bush it is but we were all sure of one thing. t was beautiful in all seasons. Pink tiny flowers in spring fat green berries in summer that turned crimson in the fall and then, to finish the season the tiny leaves turned a lovely russet. Out of all the things in the yard I loved this bush the best. After many years of admiring it, one spring as the flowers were turning to green berries on the long thing branches that draped themselves to the ground, the squirrels discovered that the berries were delicious and the long, lovely vine-like branches were a lot like a fun ride. They would begin at the base and slide down the branches in a shower of leaves and berries which they would then pick themselves up off the ground and eat. Happy little squirrels. So much for the bush. Over a few months, they denuded the bush and since they ate the berries the thing never replenished itself and one day it literally fell over and died...whump...sad.

The problem was, for me, that I laughed so hard at the stupid squirrels using the bush as a slide that I found it hard to go out and do battle with them. They outnumber us many fold and I would have had to stand guard all day. It was just bigger than me.

This spring, as I was admiring the wild cherry tree outside my window, I noticed that it had set its cherries. The tiny little itty bitty berries(danger Will Robinson)were coming in and looked so pretty. At about that time, I also noticed a rustling in the tree. Something bigger than a little bird. No, some THINGS bigger than little birds were in there. Yeah, it's the squirrels. They've discovered the cherry tree and they have found that in many ways it mimics the fun they had on that bush that magically disappeared a while back. They hang upside down and pull the cherries off much in the same way you would pull the tiny branches off a stick of rosemary. I went out a few times and threatened them. They scoff. I'm lost. Gardening around here requires more patience than I can sum up some days. The cherries are not edible. They are tiny and more berry like than real cherries and most fall on the ground where, up to recently, the critters were happy with the treefall. Now they have discovered the source.

We have been celebrating the birthdays. This weekend was James 26th and my birthday was last week. Since James and I like the place, we went to Sushi Park. Dani went with us and we had a great dinner followed by strawberry shortcake. Thursday is Dani's birthday and my friend Terry's as well. June is a very fattening month around here.

Speaking of fattening, I must get to the store for some things for dinner. Light meals are in order so I need some fresh veggies.

Talk to you soon.

8 comments:

Gerrie said...

Scooter would love to hang out at your home and watch the squirrels. We can watch them cavorting in the trees at the back of the house. It entertains him for long stretches.

You are a gifted writer. This was a fun post to read.

Michele Bilyeu said...

I can so relate, dear Dee! And since I cannot claim Native American, I shall claim wild, unbridled Alaskan child of the beaches, ferns, and forests. Now that the children are grown, I no longer have 15 house pets at a time, instead our chickens and enough squirrels, raccoons, opossum and even a deer to keep my eyes busy, my heart happy, and the chickens frantic.

Terry said...

Oh, I think I'd be right at home at your house! I recently bought a bag of squirrel food and set up a little place to feed them, hoping it would keep them out of the birdfeeders. We've had so much rain the squirrel bowl is full of water and they are eating everything else in sight.

Kay said...

We also have a very over grown wooded piece of property, probably not appreciated by some of the more gentrified people who have built in the area since we built our house. The deer and the ground hogs as well as the squirrels munch on most of the vegetation. I can't have a vegetable garden (hooray), and many flowers don't make it either. Love the squirrels too, but moles in the yard--no.

judy f. n. said...

Excellent shots, Dee!
I, too, love a wild garden, and it's a good thing I do because I've sure got one...

Melody Johnson said...

Gardening is a constant battle.
I consider murder daily.

Rian said...

That is one ticked-off squirrel! I bet you have a lot of mosquitos, too.

Cindra said...

Be careful. I used to love to watch the squirrels until they decided to move in with us. Listening to the pitter patter of little feet in the attic is not a good thing. Now we hunt the durn things.