These Squirrels Are Making Me Nuts

8:00 am: Swept clean.

It’s 8:00 am, and I have swept the walk to my door for the buh-zillionth time, thanks to the squirrels who are ransacking my oak tree for acorns.

They’re also not the neatest nor efficient of eaters. As I sweep, I notice there’s a lot of waste. Mixed in with shards of shells are whole acorns — perfect for tucking away into the nether regions of your cheeks. So I wonder, just what are the squirrels getting so squirrely about?

First, there is the coming winter.  There is a belief that you can predict what sort of winter you will have by observing the nuttiness of the squirrel population.  It’s as if they are our very own Farmers’ Almanac.  If that’s the case, then we are in for an Arctic blast of snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures — and judging by the acorn debris that is littering my walkway, we may never thaw out.  Either that, or my yard will be buried

24 hours later: Not so much.

in an avalanche of acorn shells — Long Island’s very own Pompeii.

Second, I’m concerned about the frenzy.  This particular squirrel colony is in hyperactive mode, running and racing up and down trunks, onto branches, nibbling here, nibbling there.  The squirrels are not just eating acorns; they are stockpiling them like a cult of the-world-is-ending believers.  If they are like this now, what will they be like in December 2012, the notorious date when the Aztecs predicted the world would really end.  There may not be enough nuts to satisfy their craving.

Third, and I am completely serious here, I think the squirrels have declared war on us.  This nut stuff is just the opening volley.  At this time of year, I cannot even stand and have a conversation with my neighbor on the walkway.  If I do, I will be

Debris field.

pelted by not only debris, but whole acorns, as well.  In fact, I think they are intentionally hurling these whole acorns at me. 

You think I’m kidding.  Just listen to the sound of a whole acorn falling from the tree and hitting the roof of your car parked on the driveway.  It’s like the acorn shot heard ’round the world — and I find it difficult to believe that the velocity is the result of gravity alone.  There has to be some squirrel strength behind that acorn.  Perhaps the squirrel soldiers have fashioned a sling shot in the upper branches of the tree.  Then, “Ready.  Aim.  Fire.”  And each time they hit me or the car, I swear I can hear them giggling.

What to do with my furry frenemies?  Trap them and release them to another location?  Nah.  That only encourages replacements to take up their positions.  Cut down the oak tree?  Absolutely not.  I

Come on, Squirrels. How about a day off?

love the tree more than I dislike the squirrels.  For, now I will have to be contented with a broom and a hard hat — and if  the neighbors think I’m the nut case . . . Well, we’ll just see who’ll be laughing when the squirrels chase us up into the trees.

 In the meantime, a friend found an abandoned baby squirrel and is now rehabilitating it.  In addition to sweeping the walkway, I offered to  gather acorns to feed this foster squirrel.  I must be nuts.


22 thoughts on “These Squirrels Are Making Me Nuts

  1. I, too, get pelted by squirrels at this time of year. They are particularly fond of burying acorns in the rich, friable soil of my flower beds, where they promptly forget about them. The result in spring will be a gazillion little oak seedlings that have to be pried out of the garden.

    • Hi Jean. If the squirrels do take over, my yard will become a pristine oak forest. I must admit, though, I do like the weeding challenge of pulling out the entire tap root of the sprouting oaks. It’s an odd sense of accomplishment.

  2. Your post is hilarious and I too battle the little beasts. My cockatoo does just what you say the squirrels do. He would sit on top of his cage and fling walnuts at my pet turtle. I heard the plunking going on in their room and caught the bird red-beaked. He actually was hitting the turtle too. I was amazed at his aim. So I am guessing your story of the squirrels is pretty accurate.

  3. Oh boy! Depression all round, either we’re gonna die anyway next year if the predictions are right or we’re gonna become squirrel slaves. Way too depressed to comment any further, off to enjoy what’s left of my life!!

  4. If you think acorns hitting your walk is bad, you should try black walnuts hitting your deck and roof. I have two 100′ black walnuts that produce massive quantities of nuts. I used to make my children wear bike helmets outside. I count on the squirrels to remove the walnuts, and they do a good job.

    • Ouch. I imagine they would hurt. Please, don’t misunderstand me — I happen to enjoy having the squirrels around. It’s the bruises I can do without. I guess they’re a necessary evil — cute, fluffy-tailed evil.

  5. Dear Kevin,
    Thanks for the laughs! It seems the acorn, ummmm, apple didn’t fall far from the tree! Squirrel wars? Where have I heard that before????? However, I do agree that the “rats with furry tails” as Girlie would call them, do laugh at us as they hit us with acorns. I remember well sitting under the metal awning that hung from her garage. listening to the sound of the steady machine gun that was the pelleting of acorns from the HUGE oak tree behind the garage. I never for one moment believed those nuts were simply falling – they HAD to have been thrown, by little muscular paws! By the way, did you know the new triple ‘A’ baseball team here in Richmond is called the “Flying Squirrels” and their mascot is named “Nuttsy”? Just a little trivia to share. Have a great day! And, wear a hardhat – wouldn’t want any injuries to your noggin!

    • I remember that massive oak tree and the awning and the sound of acorns hitting. More importantly, I remember the barbecues, the whir of the rotisserie, and Grandpa’s towel under his arms so they wouldn’t stick to the tablecloth. It’s amazing how many memories were created on that small patch of a backyard in Queens, NY. Thanks for the stroll!

      • Oh, boy! Did you just take me back! I can still smell (and taste) the succulent meats that came from that rotisserie! Roast beef, leg of lamb, chicken and turkey – how I miss those meals! Girlie sure could cook, couldn’t she? I’d forgotten all about the towel under Grandpa’s arms. Don’t forget the always present fire call radio.
        Many good times were had in that postage stamp of a backyard. It was small, but we were happy there!

      • And let’s not leave out the wooden cut-out lawn ornaments. I think there were some Dutch kids. Her neighbors (Clara?) and their tremendous azalea. Lots of memories!

  6. Well Kevin you sure hit a softspot here.
    I think you did this on purpose. Was it something I said??
    2- Pear Trees-approx.300 pears-Pear Crisp-0-Squirrels-approx.300 pears.
    Well they got all the pears but the apple’s ripen later-so maybe???
    1-Apple tree-approx.100 apples-Apple Pie’s-0-Squirrels-approx.100 apples.
    I’ve become Madonna-ized—I loathe squirrels.
    Although, Brother-in-Law Mike say’s “there good eatin,make a good gumbo”.
    If I ate one I’d probably have a pear tree or apple tree grow out of my navel.

  7. Hilarious! I have a similar issue with chipmunks who spy on me from atop the Douglas fir trees. When they are SURE that I am within range they hurl fir cones at my head. They ricochet off anything and anybody unfortunate enough to be nearby. Oh and chipmunks also laugh.

    The squirrels? Well we have the little cute red ones here rather than the monster grays. They hide their bounty on top of the engine of the ride on mower, shred shop towels for nesting material then leave a Hansel and Gretel trail of paper to their cozy retreat. We’ve got used to checking for furry things before we switch on the ignition!

    • Hi, Karen. Some people see cute cartoon-like antics? I see the an alliance. Somebody get meHomeland Security on the phone. Enjoy the day — and run for cover.

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