Squirrels, chipmunks and other such diversions

One of my dog Lily’s favorite pastimes in summer is to lie on our deck at the top of the stairs and watch the backyard vigilantly for squirrels. They have learned if they hang from their hind toes upside-down on the sunflower seed feeder they can easily get the bounty of seeds, peanuts and cranberries in there. They are not stupid, either. When Lily has decided her still presence has been camouflaged by her lack of movement she will stealthily rise and slowly creep down the stairs. I have noticed there is usually another squirrel, or two, at the base of the feeder and when Lily starts her run in earnest the squirrels each race to a different tree, leaving Lily in a dire quandary as to which one to pursue. Having satisfied herself that the squirrels are safely treed she starts her search for the moles that dig in the soft earth below the feeders. She will stand, head cocked, listening intently for their motions below. And yes, she has occasionally brought one to the surface and if I am not quick enough, dispatched it handily.

The rabbits that eat the tender grass sprouted by same birdseed are usually only about in the early mornings. Lily knows these are too fast for her but she will every so often give chase just to keep her hand (paw) in. And the chipmunks she looks for by their panicky squeaks, having gnawed the bark off the lower foot of two small trees being certain they live in the hollowed out cavity.

We also have the occasional possum and skunk. The possums she will stand off, curious about the angry hissing as she confronts it. The skunk mercifully Lily has not encountered.


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