Yes, we know that squirrels can be annoying garden pests. But HerbDoc has found that bonding with them can be way more fun than chasing them away:
Late last January a tiny gray squirrel appeared at the French doors to the dining room. He was a bit unsteady on his feet and seemed to have little fear of humans so we left small cookies and sunflowers seeds in an attempt to see him through the winter. By early spring he was happily collecting graham cracker pieces and peanuts a couple of times a day and eating them no more than two feet from our doors.
Then in early April another small squirrel appeared at the edge of the woods. She wouldn’t come to the deck, but “Cookie” as we named him, would eat a segment of graham cracker and then take the other one to her in the tree.
Lo and behold, we now have two tinier squirrels which we imagine are Cookie and his girlfriend’s offspring visiting about three times a day.
For the first time two days ago, I stood on the deck with a quarter of a graham cracker in each hand. One of these cuties has dark red back feet and is a little less shy than the other. She literally danced toward my left hand, took a few steps back, hopped over my hand and back. This process was repeated twice and then she covered her face with her tail, sidled up to my hand and ran off with the cookie before we could snap a shot!
This has happened two more times, and we found that she doesn’t usually go far. She likes to “hide” at the end of the rail where I have a huge tarragon plant on an old metal chair. She then returns for another snack.
Little squirrel two has gotten up enough courage to come for a cookie if I put the cookie on the rail in front of me and keep my hands at my sides.
Perhaps he will trust me enough to gather a snack from my hand soon.
Just too cute!
How adorable! I’m one of those folks who love the squirrels and feed them right along with the birds. I’d love it if one became this friendly. I raised a baby squirrel once and, let me tell you, it was one of the joys of my life. What a fun and special friend he was.
I’m with you, CJ. Squirrels are cool – most of the time!
Yes, when they are playing tag in the trees. They’re very cute,
But when they’re chewing a hole in your house. Not cool. This goes for racoons too.
I hate to be a nay-sayer , but I would keep them at a distance.
Aw, what a sweet story. And cookie is adorable.
that’s really sweet. We used to have a little black squirrel that we started leaving nuts for. He started to come literally to the front porch. saw him for probably a few years!
They really are cute although I think I have to spray my tomatoes with some homemade “don’t taste it” spray as they appear to love ripe cherry tomatoes! One is so friendly that she will take cookies from anyone who goes out to the deck, but we have noticed that if there is more than one person out there they become very skittish.
Since we live in the woods, we see all manner of animals, but we’ve never had a problem with them chewing on the house or trying to get in. We did have a sugar loving raccoon last year who loved to empty my stick-on the window hummingbird feeder every night. How did I know what was doing it you ask? He left his sticky little footprints all over my window. Talk about CSI! 🙂 We just solved that problem by taking the feeder in at night.
Herbdoc, I’m afraid my experiences have not been as enjoyable. These animals are more problematic in the suburbs. Long story short, just after I bought my previous house I discovered 5 racoons in the attic. Believe me I did everything possible to get rid of them. Blasting CHOM all day was the least effective (this memory still makes me laugh). Finally I trapped them and brought them to the other side of the river. Six weeks later they were back. All to say that at a certain point these animals may conclude that your house is their house. My squirrel stories aren’t as bad, but I’m still cautious.
Ouch! We’ve been here in the same house for well over 30 years, and my battles have been small. My biggest pain in the neck has been the yearly woodchuck or two. At one time we had a problem with the squirrels raiding and chewing our bird feeders but that was solved with the Yankee Flipper. We really don’t have much in the way of a “rodent” population as a pair of red shouldered hawks built a nest on the property line this spring and had 2 offspring which are voraciously hungry. Watching the four of them hunt for their favorite food which appears to be squirrel, chipmunk and vole is just amazing.
We used to have so many squirrels in our neighborhood. Then a couple of years ago, at least one family of foxes moved in, and now it’s unusual to see a squirrel around here.
Yes, as I mentioned the more serious problem is in the suburbs. In fact I’m building a house in the Laurentians and last week I was remarking that I haven’t seen any squirrels there, In that context, watching the animal population is enjoyable as the balance is as it should be,