I have always fed wildlife. Ok, admittedly I had ulterior motives when my yard was filled with dogs because they were great exercise for them and my girls couldn’t or didn’t want to really catch them. In fact, my kids were pretty inept. Once, all three had a squirrel suck in my maple tree. There is all manner of whining and barking, crying, so I go out to the tree to ‘help’ them. This must have been an inexperienced squirrel because he panicked and tried to make a jump to a nearby tree that wasn’t near enough. He plopped down right at my feet!
“OMG! Run! RUN!” I yell at the critter and he takes off to another big tree yards away…while my three girls were still looking up that tree. No. they are not hunters.
But back to my point. Now my yard is filled with squirrels and rabbits. Apparently this is a bad thing because I am getting hate mail from my neighbors. One hand scribbled note said if I didn’t stop feeding them he was going to ‘throw walnuts at my windows’. My oh, my…when did we start to dislike squirrels so much?
Have you looked in those bird seed catalogs? They are filled with every anti-squirrel device known to man. Wires and shields and trap doors. My sister-in-law shoots them from her kitchen window. I have a brother-in law who is concerned they will get into the house, take over the wiring and they carry disease so they have to go. Disease? Well, I suppose. But I’m more likely to get something from his water bottle than a squirrel. Our dogs, yeah, they can get some unsavory guests from a squirrel or rabbit. But then, we see them eat all kinds of yucky things with no ill effects.
I’m just saying let’s try to be a little kind to an animal that has to winter in a bunch of leaves. When the wind is howling, it’s ten below outside and your sipping your tea remember everybody else who is out there trying to stay alive. Throw a few seeds around, an apple core, crack open that pumpkin you used for decoration. If my neighbor were more kind to squirrels, he would be more kind to me I think. Plus, I wouldn’t be getting all that mail… and maybe walnuts.