Sorry about that little break! I just haven’t felt much like blogging the past few days. It’s been in the 90’s and humid and for this 2nd trimester preggo means I am cranky & impatient & extra tired. I can’t even tell you how ready I am for fall! I can’t wait to put away my shorts & pull out my comfy sweatshirts, go apple picking, go the county fairs, enjoy hot apple cider, bake apple pies & all kinds of other fall “goodies” and enjoy that beautiful crisp cool fall air, not to mention the beautiful leaves! Ahh yes, fall! Thankfully, today is supposed to be the last day of 90’s and hopefully it will get more bearable tomorrow and cool down considerably this weekend.
Homeschooling has been going very well. We’re getting into the groove of things and Nathan is doing much better in focusing. Emily is enjoying her preschool and I am enjoying my laid-back approach to it. On Tuesday, Emily didn’t want to cooperate, so I said “fine, but you need to go play then and let me teach Nathan.” She quickly realized that she was not going to get attention by being stubborn & that’s definitely helped.
Homeschooling aside, we’ve had some rodent “encounters” this week.
We have quite a squirrel problem in our neighborhood (then again, who doesn’t?!) Those pesky squirrels have repeatedly chewed holes in the edging of our “barn” roof (attached, never-finished-was-like-that-when-we-moved-in addition) and like to live in the walls of the “barn.” Thankfully they’ve never gotten into the actual house or I’d have much more an issue with them! Nate has had to climb up multiple times in the almost 6 years we’ve lived here to patch up those holes in hopes of keeping them out. He’s been successful but they inevitably find another way back in. Last weekend, he had to do another “patch” job; this one a bit more intensive & tricky as it involved climbing up on a very steep portion of the roof to do the repair. Thankfully, he was very careful & finished the job safely.
Nate obviously did a good job because the squirrels were not happy and showed that by trying to chew through other areas. I don’t think they’ve had any luck yet, but Nate will have to pull out the ladder again tomorrow to inspect everything.
On Monday, during recess, Nathan & Emily came running inside screaming that “Milo has a baby squirrel!” I ran outside and Milo was under the deck with something in his mouth. It wasn’t a squirrel, it was a chipmunk. Milo ran to the other side of the house & I followed. He let go of the chipmunk for a second and I grabbed him (the cat) so the chipmunk could escape. I love chipmunks and we rarely see them around (probably because of all the neighbor cats.) The chipmunk ran off quickly, so I hoped Milo didn’t injure him too badly. Milo was not too happy about me letting his prize escape, but I think he forgave me when I gave him some treats. (His good ‘mousing’ skills will hopefully pay off later this winter when the field mice try to make their way back into my house!)
I went back in the house, stopped at the kitchen sink to get a glass of water, and to my surprise, saw this in the bushes about 15 feet up right outside my window:
Poor little chipmunk sat there looking stunned for about 10 minutes before he scurried away. Hopefully he’s ok!
You think I’m done? Not so fast!
Yesterday, the kids were once again outside for recess when Emily came in to tell me there was a “baby squirrel.” There was a baby squirrel this time – on the ground, in a clump of plants at the bottom of a tree near the kids’ swing set. Abby was barking at it and then it suddenly turned and went up about 8 feet into the tree. The baby just sat there for quite awhile. I was pretty surprised as there was a barking dog and 3 people just feet away, but he was not moving. I had time to get a picture:
I brought the kids inside (you never know with wild animals) and figured the squirrel would head up the tree and disappear.
A couple hours later, the kids went back out. At some point, Milo had escaped outside (we try to keep him inside, but with the kids in and out, he inevitably escapes once or twice a day – he always comes back though!) All of a sudden, I hear lots of shrieking & look outside to see Milo racing by full speed with the baby squirrel dangling from his mouth! He took a flying leap straight over the 4 foot tall gate and shot across the road into the bushes. I could hear the poor baby squirrel squealing. There was nothing I could do. I felt bad, but I guess it’s survival of the fittest. Nathan told me the baby squirrel had actually come down to sitting on top of the 3′ fence. Clearly, he was either too young or just not very smart and if Milo hadn’t caught him, some other animal would have.
Emily & I were both a little disturbed – Nate & Nathan were not. Nathan thought it was “cool” that Milo caught him (boys!) and Nate couldn’t help sounding a little pleased when I told him. (One less pest to chew at his house – I can’t exactly blame him there!)
Needless to say, I was a little worried about opening my back door and finding some piece of that baby squirrel as a gift from Milo (you always hear about those cats leaving mice tails or other gross bits as a present for their owner) but luckily for me, I didn’t qualify for a gift this time. Maybe it was because I let Milo’s other catch escape!
That’s not all.
Yesterday evening – just a few hours after the first “baby squirrel incident,” Abby was outside and started going nuts barking at something under the deck. It turns out, there was another baby squirrel hanging around. I couldn’t believe it! He was just sitting there, chattering at Abby, but doing nothing to run away and hide! Abby was so funny – she didn’t know what to do! So she barked & jumped around. Once again, I had time to get my camera:
Our neighbor nicely came over and herded the baby squirrel into a bucket (I was really quite shocked at how little the squirrel protested) and took him to the wooded area just across the road behind us. I was thankful because I don’t think Emily or I could have handled seeing yet another poor baby get killed in one day!
Two baby squirrels in one day! All I can think is that they grew up in the walls of our barn and then were hanging around our house trying to get back in. Both babies seemed awfully young & stupid to be left completely alone though – there were no parents anywhere to be seen. I was really quite surprised.
So there’s our story for the week. I sure hope it’s the last I see of those little guys!