Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dragon Tails

Sorry for my long absence.  There are a lot of squirrel happenings going on.
We have had a new, small squirrel visiting us for a few weeks now.  We didn't know what to call him.  He acted a lot like Scamp.  The first time he came by, he walked right up to me and jumped on my leg, so I just started calling him New Scamp.  Due to my lack of ingenuity and originality in naming our squirrels, my husband stripped me of naming authority.

One day, "New Scamp" came by with a broken tail.  (His tail is broken in the digging photo above, too.)

From that point, we started to call him Dragon, as in draggin'.  Watching his little tail drag and sway behind him as if he was pulling a sweeping broom was hilariously sad.  

As most of you probably already know, a squirrel's tail is vitally important to their survival because it helps them balance on tree limbs, etc.  Fortunately, Dragon's tail seems to be broken only midway.  He seems to have no trouble lifting the base of his tail, so that's a bit of good news.  We weren't sure what Dragon's fate was going to be, but he's been coming by every other day or so.  
He's still unafraid of me, and aggressive toward other squirrels, even with his broken tail.  Fatty was minding his own business, eating a nut on the porch rail when out of nowhere, Dragon lunged at him like a linebacker and knocked him straight off the porch!

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Raining Squirrels!

Around 9 PM last night, Hubby and I were sitting in our living room, having a quiet conversation when we heard a loud, "Bang!  Bang!"  Something had fallen, or landed very hard, on our roof and then our garbage cans.

We looked at eachother quizzically, and he said, "Raccoon?"

I said, "Maybe, but that's exactly what it sounded like when that baby squirrel fell out of the tree."

I grabbed my coat and flashlight and went outside to see if there was another injured squirrel.  It wasn't windy last night, but it had started to rain lightly.  I opened the door and didn't didn't see anything, but I heard rustling leaves and a squirrel barking.  It was a persistent bark, but I could not tell where it was coming from.  I checked the ground around the tree and the cans but found no animals of any kind.  

I could still hear the barking.  It was constant.  It seemed to be moving away from me.  I went back inside and checked the backyard with a flashlight.  Nothing.  Just on a hunch, I checked the driveway one more time, and that's when I saw a flash of a squirrel and its big, bushy tail streaking across the driveway toward the oak tree.

I don't know if it was a baby or adult that fell, if it was being chased by something or if it was Preggers trying to find a baby that fell.  It was too dark to discern. This morning, there weren't any hurt or injured squirrels around, so I'm hopeful that it was nothing.

On the Preggers front, I saw her while I was out grilling the other day.  I heard a scratching noise and turned to see Preggers heading for a little "V" in one of the tree trunks.  There was another squirrel up at the "rest stop" that I initially thought might be one of her younguns, but upon closer inspection, it was too big.  

I think he was chasing her because she sure seemed to be trying to hide.

I watched her awhile, and she let me get pretty close until she scurried away.

She ended up on one of our trees and started eating the buds.  I have lived in this house for years, and I didn't know this was a flowering tree.  It has not flowered once in the time I've been here.  Now I know why!  I think she's mocking me.  Look at the smrik on her face!  ;)

Here's another little guy reaching for something to eat in our Oak tree.  I knew squirrels relied on trees for homes and food, but I thought the food was limited to nuts and things.  Now, I've seen them eat roots, loose bark, buds and flowers, too!