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One Last Note for the Night

OK, one more before I leave for the night. Wow, I can't believe how good I feel having taken some time out from research and coding to write for fun.

Katherine writes about attempting to keep her birdfeeder free of squirrels. (I don't comment much at her place anymore, but it's such a good read when I'm down or stressed.) I'd advise her on how to solve the problem, but I don't want to spoil her fun.

We have more problems with rats than squirrels up here in NYC. Nevertheless, I have significant anti-squirrel experience from my time spend living in the woods in central Michigan. We have an abundance of birds, of course, and bugs that belong to the Cretaceous, and three different colors of squirrels. And there's nothing they like more than birdfeeders.

The summer before law school the squirrels got particularly frantic: I guess the birdfeeders were their tastiest source of food or something. So one of my then-neighbors tried to secure his birdfeeder by suspending it by metal wire twelve feet from the nearest tree trunk and twenty-five feet below the supporting branch. The feeder hung in isolation, and the squirrels couldn't get to it.

Well, at least not for a few days. Then the little beasties were hurling themselves in ever-closer lunges towards the feeder. Finally one would hit it, hang on just long enough to tear the bottom of the feeder open, and then tumble to the ground, surrounded by tasty goodness.

So my neighbor (an engineering professor) and my father (ex Army Corps of Engineers) start tackling the problem. The bottom of the feeder is secured. The squirrels go for the top. The top is secured, and pretty soon one of them has learned how to rappel down the metal wire. (I can only imagine this burnt the poor thing's paws.) Finally they're working in teams, hurling themselves out to the feeder, smacking it until it swung like a food-filled pendulum, getting it close enough for one of them to grasp onto. That one would then spin crazily, driving the feeder in a frantic circle until it spat birdseed from its sides.

I'm telling you, it was a battle of wits and a testament to squirrel persistence. I stopped scaring the vermin off, just to see how their thinking would evolve. And of course, I wanted to see what my father and his friend would come up with next. It's not like they're slouches at this: no, these are men whose mastery goes far beyond my duct-tape knowledge of fixology.

So I'm not going to advise Katherine in her battle with the beasts. I mean, why would I deprive her, or myself, of the fun?

I can believe how much I'm looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving...


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» Notes from Legislating Gremlins
Given that some appear to enjoy reading of my squirrel adventures, I submit the following: There. I hope that was as good for you as it was for me. On a related note, I've been observing the evolution of this furry tailed rodent's behavior, and this is... [Read More]

» Notes from Legislating Gremlins
Given that some appear to enjoy reading of my squirrel adventures, I submit the following: There. I hope that was as good for you as it was for me. On a related note, I've been observing the evolution of this furry tailed rodent's behavior, and this is... [Read More]


Thanks for the mention! :-) take care of yourself.
You write: "It's not like their slouches at this..." You mean: "It's not like they're slouches at this..." they're as in "they are" Other than that, great blog! ;) Evan.
Noted and corrected, thank you.

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