War of the Squirrels

I’m a nature lover. I feed the birds, stop for deer crossing the road, and look the other way when the rabbits wipe out my moss rose. Yes, I’m one of those soft-hearted, wimpy souls who can’t stand to kill anything that has invaded the house, but instead captures said varmint in a humane trap and then drives it all over creation looking for a nice spot to drop the little dickens off — so it will become someone else’s problem.

Yeah, I’m one of those.

Until now.

It’s because of the squirrels. Those bad, bad squirrels.

I don’t know what I said to tick them off. I don’t know what I did, but it must have been a doozy. Maybe it was some past-life fetish I indulged in that required squirrel appetizers. Or maybe I showed off one too many squirrel-fur collars on my coat in another century.

All I do know is that the unfortunate squirrel karma started up recently. Up to now, the squirrel kind and I had no quarrels in my present life. All that changed when I glanced out my kitchen window the other day, and saw my finch feeder lying on the ground. That isn’t a surprise, because it’s hung low on a fence within easy access to squirrels and raccoons, and they like to goof around with the feeders from time to time. And that’s okay with me as long as the little buggers don’t carry them off into the woods for target practice or illegal squirrel purposes.

See, I’m a tolerant suburbanite.

But when I walked out and picked up the feeding tube, I found to my horror huge gaping holes had been gnawed into the plastic, and a whole container of high quality (and extremely expensive, I might add) thistle seed had been dumped in a big pile on the ground, to the disdain of the chickadees who wouldn’t lower themselves to that level, literally.

Now I wish I’d taken a picture — but it would just make me mad all over again every time I looked at it. Several of the holes were at least four inches wide, and obviously took some time to chisel out. Why on earth, after all these years, would they go after bird food that they apparently didn’t even want to stuff into their little greedy cheek bags?

Or am I thinking of chipmunks?

Anyway, it was the last straw for me. I’ve taken down all but the most difficult-to-reach feeder, which is a piece of rusty junk, anyway. And when that one’s vandalized, I will replace it with one sporting all the qualities of Fort Knox . . . for birds . . . preferably with long iron spikes and a drawbridge.

The one good thing to come out of this? I’ve downsized my bird-feeding equipment to one battered tube feeder and a basket of suet.

It’s certainly one way to achieve the simple life in the suburbs. It’s getting squirrelly out here.