Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stori: Moose n Squirrel

I was sitting here this morning visiting with Debi, online of course, about her neighborhood squirrel. As we were discussing his obvious bravery, I notice my horses are bucking up a fit in their pen. Now I believe I have one of the best views in the world right outside my great room and dining room windows, the barnyard. I sit here for hours a day watching the livestock live their lives. I learn so much about them and their personalities just by observing them be themselves. Their private little rodeo action out there made me jump up to see exactly what had them in such an uproar. Outside of their pen, walking along the driveway was a set of yearling twin moose. The horses must have been feeling extra springy this morning to kick up such a fit over simple moose. Usually the horses and cows will just stand along the fence and watch the offending trespassers waltz through their territory. It got me to laughing about the differences of Debi's wildlife and my own version.
I also have a small squirrel problem, but it deals with actual small squirrels. They are a little bigger than chipmunks but very persistent. Living in a cabin does have it's down side. Squirrels love to try to climb in the roof and steal insulation. When the insulation gets disturbed, it causes a cold spot where condensation can form, which can turn into mold when the weather warms up. The squirrels also eat my bird food, which is kinda expensive, therefore not tolerated. Debi feeds her vagrant neighbor popcorn and peanut butter. We shoot ours. We try to prevent the problem by removing trees close to the house. The little terrorists don't like crossing open spaces. There is a man up here that will pay a dollar a spruce squirrel tail. But he only takes them in bundles of 100. Luckily, I have had only two squirrels this entire winter giving me trouble. Needless to say, they trouble me no more. I am, by nature, not a hunter. I do not enjoy killing anything myself, and truth be told, don't really like anybody else killing either. However, I can understand the necessity of hunting. I had never hunted before, until two winters ago when I had finally had enough with the squirrels. The first time I shot one, it made my stomach upset. I was shaking and dizzy. I did not like it, but my home was a bit more secure after that. I figured the only thing I would ever shoot would be squirrels, and if I'm going to be totally honest here, going after squirrels really is fun.

Last year was the first year I really got into gardening. I had a very small garden with lettuce, parsnips, and some herbs. My dad is the one who raises the huge garden over at his place. We put in a flower bed along side my big porch where I tried my hand at flowers for the first time on any large scale. One of my family's favorite flowers had always been sweet peas. Boy howdy did I kick some butt in the sweet pea department for a first timer! They grew up my porch railing and were way over 10 foot tall by the end of the season. Then the sweet pea eating moose showed up in the neighborhood. They hit my sister in laws house first. Then they hit my folks' house, right next door! It was a cow and a small bull. It's funny how an animal gets a taste for something and learns to search it out. Marc left for hunting camp and left me with a moose license and a rifle. In the end, the flowers were saved till first frost, my family has more than enough in the freezer to last us the winter, and that particular flower loving little bull is no longer a neighborhood menace.

So, Debi, I'll see you one obnoxious peanut butter eating porch squirrel, and raise you a flower eating bull moose giving my BBQ the stink eye.

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