Squirrels are the thieves in my garden. They steal the fruit from my trees and the tomatoes from my planter boxes. Nothing is sacred; not artichokes, not pomegranates and certainly not tomatoes. All my tomatoes. All. I may never recover or plant tomatoes again. It was a painful, frustrating summer.
Squirrels also target the bird feeders. I have a large feeder with sunflower seeds hanging on a pole, with a squirrel guard (an upside-down cone that swivels in an unstable way when touched( on the pole. Last summer, one managed to climb up a sunflower stem and then scramble onto the feeder when the flower bent under its weight. I cut down the flower.
The other day, one climbed to the top of the fence and leaped across to the feeder. When it had stuffed its cheeks full of seeds, it launched onto the ground and scurried away.
I also watched a hunter make its way through all my flower beds. At first I thought it was a dove; a big dove with a dark splotchy back. It hopped through the tangle of leaves and branches under the shrub rose hedge. Then it flew to the top of the fence -- where I was able to get a good look at it through my binoculars -- before landing in the flower bed below. It wound its way through the native grass, sage and lilacs, searching for
I looked through my bird books; it looked like a hawk but it was far too small and the coloring was not consistent with the red tail hawks that are common in our area. I found it -- a hawk indeed. A Sharp-shinned Hawk.
|Photo Credit: Audibon website|